Series 1 - Episode 4: The Schoolboy Assassin

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In June 1994, a masked gunman strode into a restaurant in the Orkney Islands and shot dead waiter Shamsuddin Mahmood. This was the first murder on the islands for 25 years.

The killing looked like the work of a professional hitman. But soon suspicion grew over the actions of a local teenager, 15-year-old Michael Ross. His father, local policeman Eddie Ross, was subsequently charged with attempting to cover up for his son, and sentenced to four years in jail.

In this episode of Murder Files, we see the first ever in-depth interview with Ross's father Eddie. He continues to protest his innocence and that of his son.

Despite a widespread belief that Michael Ross had committed the murder, police had no conclusive evidence until, in 2006, a witness finally came forward to identify him. Two years later in 2008, Michael Ross, by then a serving soldier with the Black Watch who had performed heroic tasks in Iraq, was convicted of the murder.

After hearing the verdict, Ross leapt over the dock and raced down a corridor towards a fire exit before being stopped by court officials. Police found his car in a Glasgow superstore car park. It contained three hand grenades and a Czech-made Skorpion machine pistol, fully loaded and capable of firing at a rate of 840 rounds per minute.

There was also a rucksack filled with army survival equipment. Eddie Ross also reveals a conversation he had with his son after he failed in his dramatic escape bid. "He said to me he was just going to head for the hills," says the father. "As a serviceman, if you are in a sticky situation, you use escape and evasion tactics."

Michael Ross received a minimum 25-year sentence for the murder. In 2012 judges rejected his appeal, saying that the conviction was safe.

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