Page last updated at 13:45 GMT, Wednesday, 19 May 2010 14:45 UK

Workers found 'foul smell' at Heather Stacey's flat

Heather Stacey
Heather Stacey was living in Granton in Edinburgh before she disappeared

Council workers have told of the "pungent and unpleasant" smell they found in the home of a woman whose remains were found dumped in bags.

A bone was also found at the flat in Royston Mains Place, Edinburgh, during the visit in December 2008.

The workers went to Heather Stacey's home in the Granton area to change the locks as a result of rent arrears.

Alan Cameron, from Edinburgh, denies murdering the 44-year-old between the end of November and mid-December 2007.

He has admitted hiding her body for about a year before chopping her up.

Mr Cameron, 56, has also admitted leaving pieces of her body in bags in Edinburgh.

I have come across quite a few dead bodies, and I would say it smelt like there was something dead in there
Glenn Walker

Housing officer Elizabeth Milne told the High Court in Livingston that Ms Stacey's rent had paid through the benefits system, but she believed that this had stopped by July 2008.

She said she visited with a joiner in December 2008 to change the locks and was struck by a smell as soon as they entered.

Mrs Milne, 53, said: "It was a smell I had never really smelt before. It was pungent and unpleasant."

She said the property appeared to have been abandoned.

Joiner Glenn Walker, 48, said he noticed a "very strong odour" when he opened the door.

"I have come across quite a few dead bodies, and I would say it smelt like there was something dead in there," he said.

Clearance company worker Gary Coates, 52, who helped clear the property on behalf of the council, said the flat looked "as if someone had just gone out to the shops".

He said: "It was as if someone was still living there."

High Court in Livingston
The case at the High Court in Livingston is to last about two weeks

Asked if there was anything unusual found in the property, he said: "I think my colleague found a bone."

He added: "I remember there was a lot of mail at the bottom of the door."

Neighbour Elizabeth McGuire, 66, said she often swapped books with Ms Stacey, as they were both keen readers.

She said: "We got on very well. She was very helpful. She always took pride in her looks.

"Her house was always tidy and clean.

"I know she drank alcohol, but she never fell about drunk or anything like that."

She said the last time she saw Ms Stacey was in October or November 2007.

She said: "She was in her bed. She didn't seem well.

"After that I didn't see her again.

"I asked Alan Cameron where she was, because I hadn't seen her about, and he said he was taking care of her at his flat."

The trial, before Lord Matthews, continues.

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