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Craig Anderson reports
"Hector Dick made the dramatic move on the fourth day of his trial at Dingwall Sheriff Court"
 real 56k

Tuesday, 9 January, 2001, 15:25 GMT
Arlene inquiry man pleads guilty
Hector Dick
Hector Dick will be back in court in February
A farmer accused of trying to pervert the course of justice in connection with the disappearance of Elgin woman Arlene Fraser has changed his plea to guilty.

On the fourth day of a trial at Dingwall Sheriff Court, Hector Dick's defence counsel, David Moggach, said his client was pleading guilty to a slightly lesser charge.

The case was adjourned on Tuesday for background reports.

Dick will be back in court on 1 February to hear his fate.

Poster
Many appeals have been made for Arlene Fraser
The 43-year-old had been accused of concealing the whereabouts of a car, sought by detectives investigating the disappearance of Mrs Fraser.

Procurator fiscal David Harvie told the court that the accused had been recorded discussing the missing car with Kevin Ritchie who was alleged to have sold him the vehicle.

He also said that subsequently Dick, of Wester Hill Farm, Mostowie, near Elgin, had told police officers the Ford Fiesta had been crushed at an Elgin scrapyard.

Mrs Fraser, 33, vanished from her home in April 1998 after waving her two children off to school.

Serious assault

Dick, a friend of Mrs Fraser's husband Nat, was originally due to stand trial last year in Elgin, but in October it was shifted to Dornoch at the defence's request.

It was then postponed when defence lawyers successfully argued that they needed more time to prepare their case.

The trial was originally set down for three weeks.

Nat Fraser was released in December after serving nine months of a prison term for seriously assaulting his wife just weeks before she disappeared.

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See also:

03 Jan 01 | Scotland
Arlene case car 'sold to farmer'
02 Oct 00 | Scotland
Arlene inquiry trial postponed
22 Jun 00 | Scotland
Man charged in Arlene inquiry
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