IT began as what was described as “a major incident” late on Thursday night as police and emergency vehicles headed en masse to an address in the city’s Balloan Road. And it ended with an outcome that shocked Inverness to the core. Two men were dead at the scene. A woman was rushed to hospital.
Yesterday a man appeared at Inverness Sheriff Court charged with murder.
As word of what had happened first spread around the city there were audible gasps among members of the public.
The impact on people living in the nearby vicinity can only be imagined.
Hilton has had its share of “major incidents” in the past decade.
Two murders – in 2012 and 2016 – and an attempted murder by a man on the loose with a shotgun in 2013.
All resulted in convictions and long prison sentences.
One of Hilton’s most fondly remembered community stalwarts, Councillor Sheila Mackay, who served the area with distinction in the 1970s and 1980s, always made a point of emphasising how proud she was to represent Hilton and the many fine people living there.
But she often didn’t have her troubles to seek. The area was periodically plagued by anti-social behaviour and vandalism at the time, with youngsters causing serious problems to some residents.
Nevertheless Mrs Mackay, who went on to create the Highland Senior Citizens’ Network, never wavered from her view that when it came to Hilton, the good far outweighed the bad.
Now residents have come to terms with one of the most shocking incidents in the Highland capital for decades.
Yesterday a 23-year-old Latvian appeared in private at Inverness Sheriff Court charged with the murders of two men.
David Sinders made no plea to charges of repeatedly striking 35-year-old Gary MacKay and 28-year-old Dwayne MacLeay on the body with a knife and murdering them in Balloan Road last Thursday.
He was was committed for further examination and remanded in custody.