Name: Callum Bailie McNeill - known as ‘Mac.’ Sex: M / F - M

Age: 44 DOB: 31 / 10 / 1979

Height: 6'3"

Appearance: Dark short hair, tousled look without being scruffy. Clean shaved but with a haze of stubble. Intense stare with a natural brooding expression. Intimidating unless he remembers to smile or animate his face. Piercing blue eyes.

Occupation: DCI - Edinburgh Serious Crime Division

Residence: Edinburgh - Leith


Father – William Struan McNeill deceased (b – 19/09/54 – d – 01/11/97 - 43)

Mother – Theresa McNeill nee Bailie deceased (b – 01/11/57, d – 16/06/93)

Brother – Connor James McNeill, 48 (b - 15/02/75)

Sister – Iona Theresa McNeill deceased (b – 03/03/81, d – 17/05/97)

Background: Born on Skye. Father, William McNeill. Mother, Theresa McNeill. Father owned a croft a few miles west of Portee. Two siblings, an older brother, Connor (48) who emigrated to Canada after a stint in the merchant navy. Callum was born into a crofting family struggling to survive in a period of economic decline for the region. The farm did not produce enough income for the family to live on and both parents took on extra jobs to make ends meet.

His mother was maternal and loving but beaten down by years with an angry husband who had been forced to marry her when she had fallen pregnant at 18 and he was 21. Until that point William McNeill had ambitions of joining the navy and seeing the world but both his and Theresa’s father instead forced him to marry and remain on Skye to raise his family.

William Struan McNeill was a man prone to drinking and bouts of violence when drunk. All of the family fell victim to his fists with the exception of his daughter, Iona to whom he became devoted.

Callum grew up fighting for his life. He revered his older brother, Connor and, as a young boy, would follow him everywhere. Connor hated their father and Callum inherited this view of him. Both brothers tried to defend their mother from him. Callum and Connor left school early after multiple suspensions, truancy and a reputation as bullies and thugs (among teachers.)

Theresa died of MS at the age of 36 and Connor joined the navy to escape. Callum felt betrayed by this, feeling that both his brother and mother had abandoned him. He was 13 when his mother died.

Iona began to go off the rails after the death of her mother and was killed at the age of 16 by persons unknown. The police investigation went nowhere and the McNeill’s believed that the police did not care about a crofting family from Skye. He was 17 when she was killed.

Callum wanted to leave home after his sister’s murder but had no money to leave the farm. He’d had a string of jobs but nothing had stuck. He was medicating himself with alcohol, weed and anything else he could obtain.

Seeing how his sister had ended up, Callum had never dived into this world wholesale, always holding back from taking the path that would eventually lead to prison.

William McNeill had begun drinking in earnest after the death of his wife and took his own life 6 months after the death of his daughter and on his late wife’s birthday which was 2 days after Callum’s 18th birthday. 

Callum sold the farm and the family home and it is now an outdoor pursuits venue though Callum has not been back to see it. Before leaving Skye for good, Callum acted on information that said a local youth, Mark Souter was responsible for Iona’s death. This was popular hearsay amongst the community because Mark had been an on / off boyfriend of Iona’s. Police had questioned him but ultimately let him go.

Believing Mark had killed Iona, Callum attacked and severely beat him. He stopped himself on the verge of killing Mark who never knew who had attacked him. Shortly after putting Mark in hospital, Callum took the proceeds of the house sale and left the island in September ’98 at the age of 18.

He had no real idea where he wanted to go or what he wanted to do. He spoke to Connor at funerals only but did not attend his own fathers. This led to an angry exchange between the brothers when Connor finally caught up with him and a fight ensued. Callum knocked his brother down though Connor is the larger of the two. Callum has a ferocity within him which he has learned to keep tightly controlled after the incident with Mark Souter and Connor.

He ended up in Edinburgh, taking a cheap bedsit flat in Gorgie, above a halal market in December ’98 having just turned 19. He rented the flat from the shop’s owner, Rayan ‘Ray’ Ansari. Rayan’s wife Anadia took an interest in Callum and kept him fed and, tried to keep him off drugs and drink.

Callum, however, made few friends. He struggled to connect with people which was a further source of despair for him, leading him to believe there was something wrong with him. He suffered from anxiety and depression. He lived for a few months off the proceeds of the sale, rarely going out. He continued using weed and alcohol, lacking the courage to try something harder.

One night, in July ’99 he returned to his flat to find the shop being vandalised by a gang of youths. Ray was trying to defend his property and had been stabbed. Callum intervened, drove off the gang and saved the man’s life by applying a tourniquet to the wound.

Following this a local man, Davey ‘Dools’ Garvey who was also Callum’s main supplier of weed and a former police officer, told Callum that he should join the force and make something of his life. Dools had taken medical retirement from the force after a car crash left him virtually crippled. He found that weed was the only thing that helped the pain and lived off it along with his police pension.

Callum scoffed at the idea at first. But then, through Dools, he met a CID officer, DI Laird ‘Strack’ Strachan. Strachan was a veteran officer from the drug’s squad who had policed the worst areas of Edinburgh his entire career. He was something of a legend among the criminal fraternity and walked the streets with impunity even in the worst parts of the city.

He knew that the youths who had tried to kill Ray were members of a far right fascist group but also involved in county lines drug smuggling. They were protected because of their role in the supply chain so no local police would touch them. It would be put down to the sort of thing that happens in the east end of Edinburgh.

He enacted his own form of justice on the perpetrators which greatly impressed Callum. He applied to join the police force, wanting to be free to hurt those who hurt others. He was accepted into the force on 01/02/00 at the age of 22.

Served without particular distinction for five years as a uniform officer. Continued to socialise with Dools and, through him, Strack who began to take Callum under his wing. In 2006 an anti-corruption unit was put together with the specific task of ending the infiltration into the police service of candidates put up by organised crime. In June 2006 Callum is interviewed because of his association with Strack, who is under investigation.

The senior officer in charge Chief Superintendent Kenny Reid tries to persuade Callum to go undercover to expose his mentor. Callum refuses but is later shot by a gunman from the Allen crime family, acting to protect their proxy, DI Strachan. Callum survives this attempted assassination at the age of 26. 

Callum helps the investigation and under CS Reid’s guidance achieves promotion to DC and then DS in the next five years as part of Reid’s anti-corruption task force.

It makes Callum a lot of enemies on the force but reveals a sharp deductive mind and an instinct for detective work. From 2006 to 2012 he is a rising star of the unit but there are no DI opportunities there.

In May 2013 he is promoted to DI in the Serious Crimes Unit of the newly created Police Scotland.

Callum’s role in the downfall of DI Strachan and seven other CID officers in the Lothian & Borders Police led to an open contract being taken out on him by Hance Allen, head of the crime organisation controlling the drug trade in Edinburgh and the east.

In June 2015, Callum successfully solved a murder case in which Hance Allen’s son and heir, John Boy had been the prime suspect. Callum resisted political pressure from above to fit the evidence to John Boy Allen and the real killer was found and successfully prosecuted.

That led to an amnesty being granted by Hance who considers himself in Callum’s debt, though Callum has always distanced himself.

Callum earned promotion to DCI in September 2017 at the age of 38 which included his own team within SCU after catching a notorious serial killer.

Callum’s team have been together for five years and have an impressive record. Callum’s reputation is as a tough guy who expects perfection from his team and gives praise grudgingly. He is regarded by some as a robot, lacking or disguising emotions. Others see him as moody or brooding.

There have been a number of women in his life, none lasting longer than a year. Siobhan Carter, a nurse at the Edinburgh Children’s Hospital was the longest, though on and off. Callum has a habit of moving on once the initial excitement has passed. He seems reluctant to commit and struggles with emotional intimacy. Possibly on the spectrum (undiagnosed.)