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Shetland murder trial: Accused said he was ‘told by neighbours’ what happened

The High Court in Edinburgh
The High Court in Edinburgh

A man arrested on suspicion of murder told police that he did not know what had happened the previous night, a court heard.

Police Sergeant Victoria Duthie,29, told a jury on Wednesday how she arrested Ross MacDougall on suspicion of murder hours after Tracy Walker lost her life in Lerwick, Shetland, on July 30 last year.

The High Court in Edinburgh heard how Sergeant Duthie and colleagues went to a home in Nederdale, Lerwick and Ross MacDougall, 32, answered the door to them.

The officer said she had earlier attended at Ladies Drive, also in Lerwick, and had been involved in door to door inquiries.

Sergeant Duthie said that she was requested to attend at the Nederdale address by a senior officer and cautioned MacDougall before arresting him on suspicion of murder.

She added: “I arrested him at the front door. He didn’t say anything immediately”.

She told the court MacDougall was taken to a police vehicle. He said: “I don’t know what happened last night but I have been told by neighbours.

“I am glad police are here now.”

Sergeant Duthie, who has 11 years police service, was giving evidence on the 10th day of proceedings against MacDougall and Dawn Smith, 29.

The two accused deny murdering Ms Walker and other charges.

Prosecutors claim that on July 30 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 charges alleges that on the same date at the same location, MacDougall and Smith assaulted Ms Walker and inflicted “blunt force trauma to her head by means unknown.”

It’s 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.”

On July 30 2019, at Ladies Drive in Lerwick, it is alleged that MacDougall and Smith assaulted Gary Latham and brandished a knife at him.

It is claimed that they demanded “money and drugs” from him before pursuing him. The two accused then allegedly kicked the door to Mr Latham’s house and prosecutors claim they did this with “the intent to rob him”.

Both MacDougall and Smith, have entered not guilty pleas to all charges on the indictment.

The trial before judge Lord Uist continues.

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