Witness noticed two folks in layby the place Renee MacRae’s automotive was discovered, courtroom advised

Witness noticed two folks in layby the place Renee MacRae’s automotive was discovered, courtroom advised


wo folks have been seen in a layby the place the burnt-out automotive owned by a girl who vanished alongside together with her three-year-old son was discovered, a courtroom has heard.

On the Excessive Court docket in Inverness, William MacDowell, of Penrith in Cumbria, denies killing his son Andrew MacRae and the kid’s 36-year-old mom Renee MacRae in November 1976.

Martin Shand, who was finding out on the Dundee Faculty of Expertise on the time of the mom and son’s disappearance, advised the courtroom on Tuesday that on the night on November 12 1976 he was being pushed residence by a good friend and one other pupil after they travelled previous the Dalmagarry layby on the A9 close to Inverness, the place the BMW automotive was found.

The 65-year-old mentioned the layby “had a sure status for courting {couples}”, and that night he was being pushed alongside it between 7.30pm and 8pm.

The retired engineer advised the courtroom: “We handed the layby at a really low velocity as a result of the floor of the highway being fairly badly disturbed due to the roadworks. Most likely at strolling velocity.”

Mr Shand mentioned there have been two automobiles within the layby. “The primary was a pale-colour BMW. The second was a Volvo,” he mentioned.

The courtroom has beforehand heard MacDowell was issued with a Volvo as his firm automotive.

Mr Shand added he noticed “two folks with their backs to the principle highway”. He advised the jury: “It’s guesswork, however I’d say from the construct it was two male individuals.”

After they handed, advocate depute Alex Prentice KC was advised, Mr Shand spoke with these within the automotive with him about their encounter and mentioned they believed it was “some type of social encounter”.

Mr Shand was later stopped by police at a roadside checkpoint as officers have been looking for details about the disappearance of Mrs MacRae and her son.

Murray Macara KC, defending, advised the courtroom that in his assertion in 1976, Mr Shand advised detectives that he “didn’t see something uncommon or untoward” on their journey from Dundee.

Mr Shand mentioned at first he felt like what he had seen was not important, and when he realised it could be, he didn’t contact the police as a result of he was “prevented from doing so by my mother and father”.

Mr Macara additionally confirmed the jury archive documentary footage and pictures of mounds of earth by the facet of the layby.

Dr Evlin Burn, 80, advised the courtroom she had been on her solution to a reserving on the Meallmore Lodge, and had seen a car in a layby.

And Patricia Wilson, 82, advised the courtroom she noticed a automotive pulled over along side the highway close to the lodge as she was driving together with her late mom, and needed to transfer out of the way in which of the car.

Ms Wilson mentioned she noticed an individual within the automotive, in addition to a toddler, and there was a person stood within the angle of the motive force’s-side door with one arm on the roof and the opposite on the door along with his head down, chatting with the individual inside.

Retired nurse Maureen Grant, 79, advised the courtroom she noticed Mrs MacRae’s car parked outdoors the resort on the A9 as she made her solution to Aviemore for dinner.

MacDowell, 80, faces three fees towards him. He’s charged with assaulting Mrs MacRae and Andrew on the Dalmagarry layby on the A9 trunk highway south of Inverness, or elsewhere, by means unknown, and consequently murdering them.

He’s additionally charged with disposing of their our bodies and belongings by means unknown.

MacDowell denies all fees and has lodged a particular defence of incrimination and alibi.

The trial, earlier than Lord Armstrong, continues.

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