A church minister and his wife had head injuries in an assault that also left an 83-year-old dog walker dead, it has emerged. On Monday, police were called to Birkenhill Woods near New Elgin after getting information that three people had been injured.

A person named Frank Kinnis later died. Two other people have now been named as Reverend Morris Smith and his wife Janette, both are 70. In this case, a 35-year-old man will appear before the court. On Wednesday, he is expected at Elgin Sheriff Court.

A Church of Scotland spokeswoman confirmed that the minister and his wife were still in the hospital receiving medical treatment. “Our thoughts and prayers are with them and also with the family of the man who very tragically died,” he added.

“This has been a very distressing event for all those involved and we would ask that the family’s privacy is respected whilst they recover.” Relatives of Mr. Kinnis who passed away have described him as a “beloved husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather”.

“He was a doting, warm-hearted and unfailingly dependable presence in each of our lives,” he added.

“There will also be fond memories of him among the farming and bowls communities in Elgin, where he was well known and liked.”

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