Page last updated at 15:42 GMT, Monday, 27 July 2009 16:42 UK

Mother 'alive' when body wrapped

John Wilson and Lisa Brown
John Wilson and Lisa Brown have blamed each other for the murder

The trial of a man accused of helping to murder his girlfriend's mother has heard that the woman could have been alive while they wrapped up her body.

John Wilson, 25, and his partner Lisa Brown, 21, deny murdering Anne Brown in Ayrshire in October. Both have lodged special defences blaming each other.

The court also heard that Ms Brown tried to transfer money from her mother's bank after her death.

Mr Wilson earlier admitted helping wrap the body and dumping it in a burn.

Mr Wilson was being cross-examined at the High Court in Glasgow by advocate depute Gary Allan QC, as he gave evidence for a fourth day.

He said he was scared of his partner and claimed she had been violent towards him on numerous occasions.

He told that he waited outside Mrs Brown's house in Burnhouse in Ayrshire as his girlfriend, Lisa Brown, went inside to tell her mother she was pregnant.

He said when she came out about 15 or 20 minutes later she told him: "John, I think I have killed my mum."

Should we understand that this lady may well have been alive while you were trussing her up like trash?
Gary Allan QC
Advocate depute

Mr Wilson said that when he had first seen Anne Brown she was lying on the ground outside covered in blood. He said he felt for a pulse but could not find one.Mr Wilson told the court that when he suggested calling the police Lisa Brown had told him she would blame him and not let him see his unborn child.

He said his girlfriend then suggested they get rid of the body.

The prosecution lawyer reminded Mr Wilson that the court had earlier heard from a pathologist that Mrs Brown would have survived for at least 30 minutes after the attack.

Mr Allan QC said: "Should we understand that this lady may well have been alive while you were trussing her up like trash?"

Mr Wilson replied: "We weren't trussing her up like trash, I couldn't feel a pulse."

The advocate depute went on: "If that pathologist is right then not only was this poor woman bludgeoned to such an extent that she was unrecognisable, before she died you trussed her up while she was alive and bleeding?"

Mr Wilson replied: "I didn't know she was alive at that point."

Mr Allan then asked: "Why did you tie blue twine around Mrs Brown?"

Mr Wilson said: "The zip was broken on the sleeping bag we needed something to keep the bag on the body."

Mr Allan: "It wasn't that you were concerned that she was alive and that she would wake up and lash out?"

Anne Brown
Police found Mrs Brown's body during searches in Ayrshire

Mr Wilson said: "I didn't know she was alive."

Mr Allan added: "But at least for some time we know she was alive?"

Mr Wilson said: "From what the pathologist said yes."

The court also heard that Lisa Brown called her mother's bank to try to get her money transferred to her own account the morning after Anne Brown's death.

Mr Allan said: "So as her mother lies in a burn and Lisa lies in her bed, we move from that scene to Lisa trying to get her mother's money?"

Mr Wilson replied: "Yeah, she definitely asked could they transfer over the money but they said they would have to get authorisation from Anne Brown."

'No pulse'

The former security guard was then re-examined by his defence QC Ian Duguid who asked him: "Was there anything in your mind to make you think that Anne Brown might have been alive?"

He replied: "No, I couldn't feel a pulse."

Mr Duguid continued: "So the packaging of the body was done by you because you thought she was dead? "

Mr Wilson said: "Yes."

It is claimed Lisa Brown and Mr Wilson struck Anne Brown on the head and body with a blunt object or objects and that her daughter had previously "evinced malice and ill-will towards her".

Lisa Brown and Mr Wilson are then alleged to have attempted to defeat the ends of justice by disposing of her body in the burn.

They are also accused of washing a quantity of bloodstained clothing which they wore at the time of the alleged attack.

The jury has now heard all the evidence in the case and will hear closing speeches tomorrow.



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