Accused told garage he had burned car’s boot, court told

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In the trial of a man accused of killing a woman and her son more than four decades ago, he is heard telling a car dealership that he had burned part of the boot of his car.

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William McDowell, 80, denies the murder of his son, Andrew McRae, three, and Renee McRae, 36, the child’s 36-year-old mother, on 12 November 1976.

He is also accused of disposing of their bodies and disposing of a boot hatch from a Volvo car in order to defeat the goal of justice.

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On Wednesday, the High Court in Inverness heard from Ian Kattanach, who worked for Volvo dealership Autosales at the time of the alleged incident, who told Defense Casey Alex Prentice that McDowell wanted a replacement floor for the cargo area.

“The floor was removed. I asked him where the floor was, he said he burnt it,” the 76-year-old told the court.

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“He said he was building a house and the floor was ruined by throwing back construction materials.”

Mr Cattanach told the jury he “didn’t understand” why he wanted it on the same day, and told McDowell he didn’t have the parts that would take a month to arrive.

The car dealer told the court that McDowell later came back in “better mind” and that they worked for him, taking the part out of another vehicle in stock to fit it because he was a good customer.

McDowell’s wife, Rosemary, previously gave evidence, telling the court that the accused’s ill health meant he was a “dead person on the move.”

The 80-year-old told McDowell’s defense attorney, Murray Macara Casey, about her husband’s health, including his poor mobility and the medications he is taking.

“His liver is very bad, his kidney is very bad and his heart is trying very hard to keep him alive,” she said.

“He’s actually a walking dead man, and he already has a DNR (do not revive) installed.”

McDowell has denied all three charges and filed a special defense of guilt and alibi.

Retired officer Peter Black, now 80, told the court an “agitated” and “unsettling” interview in the 1980s, when Mrs McDowell was detained at the couple’s former coaching house, Crook Inn in Peeblesshire, and Peebles was taken to the police station. ,

During the interview, she challenged the discrepancies in her story about when her husband came home, which she said was around 8.30. He said: “Well, it must have been perfect at the time. I didn’t hide anything.”

And, the court heard, when told that the television program The Quest ended after 10 p.m., and that it didn’t fit with the 8.30 p.m. arrival, Mrs. McDowell had no explanation.

In the interview, Mrs. McDowell told the officer: “I don’t know what you’re doing to me. I’ve never stabbed him nor anything that happened to him.”

Christine Tuach, 81, told Mr Prentiss that she knew the accused from school and that her husband John later worked as a manager at the MacRae factory.

The evening Mrs. McRae went missing, she told the court, she had seen a Volvo that looked very similar to McDowell’s company car on the A9. Inside, he saw a white man with heavy glasses.

“I thought it was Mr. McDowell,” she said. “If it wasn’t him, it was someone who looked like him.”

The trial continues before Lord Armstrong.

Accused told garage he had burned car’s boot, court told

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