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Court / Crown calls on jury to return guilty of murder verdicts

A PROSECUTOR has called on a jury to convict a man and his alleged accomplice of a “truly dreadful” murder of a woman in Shetland last summer.

Steven Borthwick told jurors that there was enough evidence to satisfy them that Ross MacDougall, 32, and Dawn Smith, 29, murdered Tracy Walker in Lerwick in July last year.

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The High Court in Edinburgh heard Borthwick say on Wednesday that the two accused planned to rob Tracy Walker in a bid to obtain cash to buy drugs.

The advocate depute told the court that it was the Crown’s case that Smith gave MacDougall a fish filleting knife which he used to assault Tracy Walker.

And Borthwick told the court that Smith didn’t do anything to help Walker following the incident.

He said: “The Crown case is that Tracy Walker was killed by Ross MacDougall with a fish filleting knife which she took from her step father’s house.

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“Neither Dawn Smith or Ross MacDougall raised a finger to call for help or to phone for an ambulance.”

The prosecutor was making his closing speech on the 14th day of proceedings against MacDougall and Smith

The pair deny murdering Tracy Walker on 30 July 2019 at Ladies Drive in Lerwick.

On Wednesday, Borthwick told the jury that the Crown believed that the pair wanted to buy drugs from a man who had given evidence earlier in proceedings.

He told the jury that both MacDougall and Smith didn’t have enough cash but learned that Tracy Walker had money on her as she was wanting to buy narcotics.

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He told the jury that witnesses heard the two accused state they were “going on a mission” and that Smith had “wound” MacDougall up to commit a robbery.

Borthwick also said that Smith didn’t do anything to help Tracy Walker in the aftermath of the alleged assault.

He added: “The evidence suggests that for ten minutes she stood and watched Tracy Walker die.”

Mr Borthwick said that after the alleged murder, the two accused took a ride in MacDougall’s mother’s car.

The advocate told the jury that although MacDougall physically assaulted Tracy Walker, Smith could also be held responsible for murdering her.

He said the evidence showed that the pair had acted “in concert” with each other by planning to rob Tracy Walker and that Smith provided MacDougall with the weapon used to assault the alleged victim.

He said he believed this showed they were engaged in a “joint criminal enterprise” and this would allow the jury to return a guilty verdict against Smith on the murder charge.

Mr Borthwick added: “It is my submission that when you consider all the evidence you will come to the conclusion that both Ross MacDougall and Dawn Smith are guilty of the murder of Tracy Walker.”

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Meanwhile MacDougall’s lawyer Brian McConnachie QC told the jury they should acquit his client.

He said: “You know Tracy Walker was attacked and her throat was cut with a knife.

“You know she was something like five feet two inches and barely over six stone – if Ross MacDougall wanted to take her money or take drugs that is something you may think he could have achieved without any weapon.”

The QC said that a knife left at the scene was that of Smith’s stepfather.

The advocate also said that if three witnesses were telling the truth, MacDougall was lying over the top of Tracy Walker as her carotid artery was cut and blood was coming out under pressure.

The court had earlier heard evidence which suggested MacDougall had been wearing a Chelsea FC football top on the night of the alleged murder.

He added: “Not a single drop of that blood makes its way onto the Chelsea top recovered from Mr MacDougall’s house.”

Paul Nelson, representing Dawn Smith, said: “The one and only person responsible for that death sits in the dock – Ross MacDougall.

“Dawn Smith was not acting with him. He, and he alone, decided to attack Tracy Walker.”

The two accused have pleaded not guilty to charges of murder, assault and possession of a knife.

The trial continues tomorrow (Thursday).

Court report by James Mulholland of Edinburgh Courts Press Services

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