Accused William MacDowell admitted mendacity to Renee MacRae, homicide trial hears

Accused William MacDowell admitted mendacity to Renee MacRae, homicide trial hears


married man accused of murdering his lover and their baby instructed law enforcement officials he lied to her however by no means harmed her, a court docket has heard.

William MacDowell, 80, has denied murdering Renee MacRae, 36, and Andrew MacRae, three, on the Dalmagarry layby, on the A9 close to Inverness on November 12 1976.

The Excessive Courtroom in Inverness heard within the days following the disappearance of Renee MacRae and her son that MacDowell gave 4 totally different statements: within the first denying any involvement with Mrs MacRae, however in a later interview admitting it.

Detective Chief Inspector Brian Geddes learn out MacDowell’s statements to the jury that MacDowell and Renee MacRae had spoken about going to a resort for a weekend away however he determined he had no intention of going and made his excuses.

“I at all times needed to mislead her as she at all times wished me to go off along with her. If she had her manner it will have been each weekend. This is the reason I needed to preserve telling her lies and main her on,” MacDowell, who now lives in Penrith, Cumbria, instructed police on November 18 1976.

“I by no means harmed Renee in any manner other than mentally maybe. I couldn’t try this,” he instructed detectives quizzing him concerning the disappearance.

In one other police interview, he instructed officers she “stored wanting me to go away along with her saying we’d hit it off” however that he “at all times made it clear” to her that he couldn’t go away his personal spouse and youngsters for her.

“If I used to be deceptive her, it was solely as a result of I used to be afraid of what she may do,” he stated, and the jury heard she had been taking drugs first prescribed to her, however later obtained from a buddy.

His eyes have been large and staring and I believed, then, this was not a pure stare and was attributable to concern or panic

MacDowell instructed officers on the time he couldn’t throw any mild on her disappearance and had no thought the place she is likely to be, the court docket heard.

Jean Wallace instructed detectives that on November 12 1976 she noticed a lone man with a pushchair at a spot she later situated as inside the Dalmagarry layby space, in response to a police assertion taken in 1977.

Jurors heard how Mrs Wallace instructed the police the person she noticed was “bending over” the pushchair, and had “one arm supporting some stuff heaped on the pram”.

“I acquired the impression one thing brown was concerned. No matter was on the pushchair was lined by clothes and overhanging the aspect of the pushchair,” the court docket heard.

As she and her husband drove previous him, she instructed police: “The person turned, he seemed immediately in direction of me.

“His eyes have been large and staring and I believed, then, this was not a pure stare and was attributable to concern or panic.”

Mrs Wallace, who has since died, on the time instructed officers she requested her husband if there was one thing improper with their automobile as a result of she may odor rubber burning, the court docket heard.

On that evening, Mrs MacRae’s BMW was discovered burned out within the layby, and it was later recovered by police.

Donald MacArthur, a detective chief inspector in Inverness, stated forensic consultants had recovered a “heavy deposit of blood” from the underside of the BMW’s boot carpet which he stated was concerning the dimension of a half crown coin, roughly 3cm in diameter.

John Bissett, 67, instructed the court docket he was driving alongside the Shenachie highway, which got here out close to the A9’s Dalmagarry layby, the place Mrs MacRae’s burnt out BMW was discovered, when he and a buddy noticed a automobile parked up in a passing place.

“As we approached the automobile we noticed what we took to be an individual or individuals in the back of the automobile. They appeared to be hiding. She or he or they didn’t need us to see what they have been as much as,” stated Mr Bissett.

“We assumed it was presumably poachers within the space, it’s not an unusual follow,” he stated.

“One factor that did strike us on the time was it was a really sensible automobile for poachers to be utilizing.”

The court docket heard from Ewan MacDonald, 70, a police officer on the time who took Mr Bissett and his buddy out to discover a automobile much like the one that they had seen, and instructed a court docket they pointed to a Volvo.

Murray Macara KC, appearing for MacDowell, questioned Mr MacDonald why officers didn’t take the 2 witnesses to automobile parks individually as they might do in the event that they have been participating in an id parade.

Requested about him being “fairly scathing” concerning the preliminary investigation, the 70-year-old stated he didn’t have robust views however a few of his colleagues felt there may need been “missed alternatives” within the investigation.

MacDowell can also be accused of disposing of the our bodies of Mrs MacRae and her son and in addition disposing of a boot hatch from his Volvo automobile to defeat the ends of justice, which he denies.

He has lodged a particular defence of incrimination and alibi, a part of which is he was on the Mercury Motor Inn, Inverness, that night earlier than going residence through his work and a store.

James MacBeath, 69, was one of many males MacDowell had visited that night within the resort.

The previous development purchaser instructed the court docket the accused appeared “agitated” that evening, and Mr MacBeath added: “He checked out his watch a number of instances and stated he needed to be someplace about seven.

“The dialog was a lot of a normal nature however two or 3 times he stated he was going to exit along with his spouse at seven o’clock. I feel he stated he was going to fulfill her, giving the impression they have been going out collectively.

“The primary time he talked about this was when he got here into the bar and joined us.”

However, he instructed the court docket, the time he left the resort meant he would have been late for the assembly.

The trial, earlier than Lord Armstrong, continues.

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