Highlands & Islands

Cold case review of 1989 Lochaber killing

Forensic scientists
Image caption Police said the review was prompted by advances in forensic techniques

A cold case review is taking place into the murder of a 47-year-old man - 21 years after he was battered to death.

Labourer James Hassard, who had been working in London, was killed during a visit home to the Lochaber area.

His body was found on 18 February 1989 close to his sister's home in Caol, Fort William.

Northern Constabulary said the review was prompted by new information and advances in technology.

Mr Hassard's body was discovered in a car park between Kilmallie Road and Torcastle Crescent.

Enquiries at the time established that he had been drinking in the nearby Lochaber Bar in the hours before his death.

DCI Gordon Greenlees, who is part of the cold case review team, said advances in forensic techniques, such as DNA profiling, had led to the case being revisited.

He said Mr Hassard had been the victim of a "brutal attack".

He added: "I am convinced that the answers to this case lie within the community of Caol and I would appeal to anyone who was living or visiting the area at the time and who may know or remember something that might be useful to the investigation to contact me.

"Twenty-one years is a long time and it is possible that relationships or loyalties may have changed which may now give people the confidence to come forward."

As part of the review, officers will also be handing out leaflets in Fort William area appealing for information.

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