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Officers who failed to spot murder victim had been shot could face misconduct inquiry | UK News

Officers who failed to spot a murder victim had been shot could face a misconduct inquiry, a former senior detective has told Sky News.

Recently retired Brian Low, 65, was discovered dead on a secluded path near Aberfeldy, Perthshire in February.

Police Scotland initially classed his death as a “medical event” before launching a murder hunt a week later when they found gunshot wounds on his body.

Brian Low. Pic: Jacqui Low
Brian Low. Pic: Jacqui Low

The force, which has faced claims of a botched investigation, has admitted it still has no suspect and no motive two months on from the cold-blooded execution despite 30 officers working to crack the case.

The initial seven-day delay in declaring a murder inquiry is being examined by Scotland’s police watchdog, The Police Investigations & Review Commissioner (Pirc).

Former superintendent Martin Gallagher, who retired from the force in 2022, says there are concerns over the officers who discovered Mr Low’s body and wrote the case off as non-suspicious.

Mr Gallagher told Sky News vital clues could have been lost and the killer may even have returned to the scene given the area was not cordoned off for days.

Martin Gallagher
Martin Gallagher

He said: “You’ve had officers attend a crime scene who have misidentified what has happened. There are questions to be asked about their ability and about their conduct.

“Police Scotland made a mistake at the start which is very unfortunate, but that happens.

“Police Scotland will learn from this and hopefully a training programme will be looked at in terms of how we deal with crime scenes initially in terms of homicide.”

Police Scotland refused to take questions from Sky News in an interview.

A spokeswoman said: “The circumstances have been referred by Police Scotland to the Police Investigation and Review Commissioner.

“It would therefore be inappropriate to comment further.”

Police at the scene in the Pitilie area on the outskirts of Aberfeldy, Perthshire after 65-year-old Brian Low was found dead next to his dog, he had suffered a fatal gun shot wound. Picture date: Thursday February 29, 2024.
Pic: PA

Officers have visited 478 properties and interviewed more than 800 people in the Perthshire area as part of the probe which is now entering its third month.

Local resident Chris Clear told Sky News he believes officers are examining a theory the suspect may have fled the scene on a bike.

He said: “Yesterday they were asking me if we had bicycles. They are really just looking for people who used the track where Brian was killed.

“Someone has done it. They probably live here. It puts a bad feeling across the whole of the village.”

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