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Court / Murder trial gets underway

TWO people have gone on trial accused of murdering a woman in Lerwick by striking her repeatedly on the neck with a knife.

Ross MacDougall, 32, and Dawn Smith, 28, allegedly killed Tracy Walker at Ladies Drive in Lerwick on 30 July 2019.

The two accused are standing trial at the High Court in Edinburgh and deny murder, and they face other charges.

On the first day of proceedings jurors heard a legal document detailing the charges facing MacDougall and Smith.

Prosecutors claim that on 30July 2019 at Ladies Drive, Smith had “without reasonable excuse or lawful authority” a knife.

It is stated that this was “contrary to the Criminal Law (Consolidation) Scotland Act 1995.”

The second charge alleges that on the same date at the same location, MacDougall and Smith assaulted Walker and inflicted “blunt force trauma to her head by means unknown.”

It is also alleged that the two accused compressed her neck with their hands and that they struck her repeatedly on the neck and hand with “a knife or similar instrument.”

Prosecutors claim that the two accused attempted to rob her of money and that they “did murder her.”

It is alleged that MacDougall and Smith also assaulted a man and brandished a knife at him at the same address and on the same day.

It is claimed that they demanded “money and drugs” from him before pursuing him.

The two accused then allegedly kicked the door to the man’s house and prosecutors claim they did this with “the intent to rob him”.

The fourth charge states that on 30 July 2019, at an address in Lerwick, the two with “intent to impede, obstruct or hinder the course of justice” did ask a man to provide them with an alibi, a “change of clothing and a bag”.

It is claimed that they put clothing which they had been wearing into the bag and disposed of it by “means unknown” to the prosecutor.

The indictment states that they carried out the alleged action to “conceal and destroy evidence” in respect of the murder allegation and to “avoid detection” with “intent to pervert the course of justice” and that they did “attempt to pervert the course of justice.”

The fifth charge alleges that on 30 July 2019, at another address in Lerwick, MacDougall took and drove a car without having the consent of its owner.

Both MacDougall and Smith, from Lerwick, have entered not guilty pleas to the murder allegation and are standing trial on the other charges.

MacDougall is represented by defence counsel Brian McConnachie QC whilst Smith is represented by advocate Paul Nelson.

Lord Uist told jurors that an estimate had been made that the case would last for eight days. But he emphasised that it was only an estimate.

The trial continues.

Copy from Edinburgh Courts Press Services

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