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POLICE

Father of missing Scot fears Swiss trauma

The father of Fergus McInnes, a Scot who disappeared in Switzerland three weeks ago, fears he may have been violently robbed or subjected to a traumatic experience which sparked amnesia.

Father of missing Scot fears Swiss trauma
Missing Fergus McInnes. Photo: Police Scotland

McInnes, a 51-year-old research fellow at the University of Edinburgh, arrived on an easyJet flight at Geneva airport on September 9th bound for a computer science conference in Martigny.    

He was last seen buying a train ticket but failed to arrive at the conference and did not board his return flight home, according to police.

Writing on a blog and reported by Edinburgh newspaper The Scotsman on Tuesday, his father Bennet McInnes speculated whether his son may have been violently robbed or that a “traumatic experience” sparked a bout of amnesia.

McInnes said: “Was he robbed of his possessions, perhaps violently, and forced into 
confusion? He is short-sighted and always wears glasses.

“If he lost his glasses, he would be extremely disoriented and upset. If he has suffered a traumatic experience he may have lost his memory as well as his means of identification.”

Asked to consider whether his son may have intentionally taken “time out”, McInnes said: “I cannot rule out the suggestion that he has taken time out by deliberately going missing, but this seems highly implausible to me.”

He added: “We are looking for the truth. We are hoping for a good outcome, but there is much that is bad in the present situation. I believe that in the long run truth will replace ignorance.

“I hope his relatives and friends can remain hopeful till the truth about Fergus’s strange disappearance is known.”

There have been several reported sightings of Fergus McInnes since his disappearance but so far all have come to nothing.

In a statement police described him as 170cm tall, of medium build, with red hair and beard, wearing glasses.

Anyone with information should contact Valais cantonal police on 027 326 56 56

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CRIME

Switzerland jails 84-year-old bank robber

Swiss authorities have sent an 84-year-old bank robber to prison. The man, who robbed the same bank twice, had hoped his age would see him avoid sentencing.

Switzerland jails 84-year-old bank robber

A court in the Swiss canton of Lucerne has jailed an 84-year-old man for two years and four months for two bank robberies stretching back across the past decade. 

The man, named in Swiss media as Willi P, has been given a partially suspended sentence and will only need to serve six months. 

The man robbed a bank in Meggen in 2012 and in 2017, stealing around CHF13,000 in total. 

He threatened the bank’s employees with a folding pocket knife placed inside a plastic bag to look like a gun. 

The man avoided jail in 2021 when the case was brought to court, with the judges saying he was too old. 

This time, the cantonal court disagreed. 

“According to the case law of the federal court, even a relatively old age does not in principle justify a particular sensitivity to punishment, which must be taken into account to reduce the sentence,” the court said. 

READ MORE: Why do foreigners ‘commit more violent crimes’ than the Swiss?

Willi P was remorseful, telling the media he was “heartbroken” by what he had done, telling the press his wife had no idea about the robberies. 

“I’m really sorry for everything and felt heartbroken. Afterwards I said to myself: Hey, you are stupid! Why do you still have to do something like this at this age?”

The man pleaded with the court not to sentence him, saying “I’ve been punished enough with my poor health. I am sorry.”

While the court noted that due to the man’s advanced age he may die in jail, this was not enough of an exceptional circumstance to prevent the sentence. 

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