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Wednesday, 30 May, 2001, 19:57 GMT 20:57 UK
Tears of victim's mother
Court graphic
Mr Sinclair denies the charges
A mother broke down as she gave evidence at the trial of the man accused of murdering her daughter more than 22 years ago.

Angus Sinclair denies killing 17-year-old Mary Gallacher in the Springburn area of Glasgow in 1978.

Her mother, Catherine Gallacher, had to be helped from the witness box at the High Court in Glasgow after giving evidence at his trial on Wednesday.

Mrs Gallacher, 58, wept as she was shown jewellery she had given Mary and a handbag that her eldest daughter had borrowed on the night she died.

She was looking forward to going out because she never went out very often

Catherine Gallacher
She told advocate-depute James Drummond Young QC, prosecuting, that she had last seen Mary as she left the family home to meet a friend who lived on the other side of a railway line.

She said: "She was looking forward to going out because she never went out very often."

Mrs Gallacher said her daughter would not have used the railway bridge unless she was accompanied by someone she knew.

She also told the jury that a suspicious man had been seen smoking outside the family home in Endrick Street several times shortly after her daughter was buried.

She said: "I could see this figure at the window down quite low and he used to come there.

Mary Gallacher
Mary Gallacher died in 1978
"He wasn't very big and he was about medium build. I couldn't say how long he was there for."

The jury heard extracts from a police statement given by Mrs Gallacher on the day after her daughter was found dead.

It stated: "About three to four weeks ago, at the weekend, I think, Mary came home at about 11pm and went to bed.

"The following morning she told me that on her way back a taxi driver had followed her along the street.

"She told me that she got a fright as the taxi had been driven slowly alongside her."

Mary's sister Yvonne, 36, told the trial that she had last seen Mary walking down the hill from the family home towards the railway line.

Social club

Mary's friend Isabel Blair, now known by her married name of Madden, told the court she and Mary had arranged to go to a social club with friends.

Mrs Madden, 39, said they had agreed to walk towards each other's houses and either meet at one of their homes or somewhere in between.

But when she reached Mary's house Mrs Gallacher told her that her daughter had already left.

After going back to her own house and a second time to Mary's house, she went on to the social club as usual.

When asked if she had seen anything unusual during her three crossings of the bridge, Mrs Madden replied: "No."

Glasgow High Court
The trial is being heard in Glasgow
The court heard that she told police at the time that on her first crossing of the bridge she noticed a man with shoulder-length curly hair walking towards her and a second man in a long coat walking in front of her.

She said the second man appeared to be about 30 years old and looked over his shoulder several times as he was walking.

Mr Sinclair, 55, a prisoner at Peterhead jail, denies raping, robbing and murdering Mary on 19 November, 1978, on waste ground at Barnhill Railway Station on Petershill Road.

He has lodged a special defence, saying he may lead evidence to prove his innocence by incriminating one or more of 13 named people and six unknown men.

The case continues.

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29 May 01 | Scotland
Man denies Mary murder
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