[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Thursday, 30 August 2007, 16:51 GMT 17:51 UK
World's End father gives evidence
Helen Scott and Christine Eadie
Helen Scott and Christine Eadie 'died in minutes'
The father of one of the World's End murder victims has told a court of the moment he heard his daughter was dead.

Morain Scott said he and his late wife became increasingly concerned when his daughter Helen failed to return from a night out in Edinburgh 30 years ago.

The High Court in Edinburgh heard that police went to their home with Helen's coat. Later, Mr Scott, now 77, had to identify his daughter's body.

Angus Sinclair has denied raping and murdering Ms Scott and Christine Eadie.

Mr Scott told the court his wife's health had subsequently gone downhill, she had never been the same person again and had died in 1989.

The two girls, both aged 17, were last seen at the World's End pub in Edinburgh's Royal Mile in October 1977.

Their bodies were found in separate locations in East Lothian the next day.

They brought Helen's clothing and they told us they assumed it was her that had been found
Morain Scott

The trial heard how Mr Scott's wife died in 1989.

He said his daughter had never stayed out all night before and her mother waited for her rather than go to bed.

On the Sunday they contacted one of Helen's friends to see if she had stayed there. They also went to Ms Eadie's flat.

That afternoon they went to the police.

Mr Scott said: "The first indication we got was we heard something on the radio about a body being found down Aberlady way and we phoned the police then and they said they had nothing for us and, later on, we learned there had been another person found and then we had a phone call from the police."

Advocate depute Alan Mackay, prosecuting, asked: "Did the police come to see you?"

World's End pub
Ms Eadie was helped to her feet outside the pub

Mr Scott replied: "They told us ... they brought Helen's clothing and they told us they assumed it was her that had been found but she had to be identified by someone in the family."

Margaret Craig, Christine Eadie's mother, also appeared as a witness.

She said the last occasion on which she had seen her daughter was on the Thursday morning before the Saturday she went missing in October 1977.

Earlier, the trial heard from pathologist Professor John Mason, who took part in the post-mortem examinations of the two girls.

He said both girls died as a result of ligatures tied around their necks and took "minutes" to die.

While being questioned by defence agent Edgar Prais QC, the 87-year-old former Edinburgh University professor of forensic medicine said he was unable to give a precise length of time it took for the girls to die.

However, he agreed with Mr Prais that Ms Scott's death "didn't happen with the click of a finger".

Special defence

"All I can say is that I would have to measure that in a matter of minutes," the witness said.

Prof Mason was also asked a number of questions about the methods used by pathologists at the time of the deaths.

"Do you agree professor that in the 21st Century DNA world things would be different?" Mr Prais asked.

"Everything would be different," the witness said.

Mr Sinclair has been accused of acting alongside his now deceased brother-in-law, Gordon Hamilton in raping and murdering the girls after forcing them into a vehicle near the pub in the Royal Mile.

Mr Sinclair will issue a special defence that any sexual contact with the girls was consensual and may put forward evidence blaming his late brother-in-law for any wrongdoing.

Victim 'strangled with stocking'
29 Aug 07 |  Edinburgh, East and Fife
Witness tells of losing friends
28 Aug 07 |  Edinburgh, East and Fife
World's End murder trial begins
27 Aug 07 |  Edinburgh, East and Fife
World's End murder trial date set
17 Jul 07 |  Edinburgh, East and Fife

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific