Friday, November 19, 1999 Published at 07:07 GMT
Murder jury hears dead girl's diary
A jury at the trial of a man accused of murdering a schoolgirl seven years ago has heard excerpts from her diary.
John Corcoran, 28, from Warren Park, Havant, near Portsmouth, denies killing 15-year-old Helen Gorrie, whose half-naked body was found in the grounds of Merchistoun Hall community centre in Horndean, Hampshire on 2 August 1992.
Helen disappeared from her home at about 11.30pm on 30 July after telling her brother she was going out for a few minutes.
She had been getting ready to go to bed and wore an all-in-one nightdress beneath her clothing.
He was rearrested in May last year when new evidence came to light.
'Folding press position'
Anthony Davies QC, prosecuting, said Helen had been strangled and smothered with her own clothing.
Her jeans had been pulled down around her ankles and her legs were forced over the back of her head in the "folding press position," leaving button imprints on her chin and neck.
The jury was also told her jumper had been pulled up and pressed over her neck and mouth.
Mr Davies told the jury Mr Corcoran had met Helen the day before her death outside a nearby pub while "cruising" the area in his car.
The following day he telephoned the youngster to arrange a meeting, the court was told.
Mr Davies read out the last entry in Helen's diary, in which she wrote: "John 'phoned me up, the one I met last night. He wants me to go for a drive with him and his friends."
'Had time to commit murder'
Mr Corcoran had been driving in the area with friends on the evening of Helen's death but the prosecution say he left them for up to 40 minutes after saying he had to meet someone.
Mr Davies said: "We are concerned with the time, say the prosecution, that the defendant absented himself from his friends, so close to the scene.
"Corcoran cannot account for an appreciable length of time at around the time the Crown say Helen Gorrie was murdered. We say he had ample opportunity to commit this offence."
Mr Davies said the scratches on Mr Corcoran's arm had been made by Helen as she fought for her life and he said two false fingernails were found at the murder scene.
"This was a struggle of a girl who obviously by that stage appreciated the danger that she was in," said Mr Davies.
The trial continues.