Page last updated at 16:09 GMT, Monday, 17 May 2010 17:09 UK

Trial over missing Rothesay woman murder

Alison McGarrigle
Allison McGarrigle's body has never been discovered

Two men have gone on trial accused of killing a woman whose body has never been discovered.

William Lauchlan and Charles O'Neill deny killing Allison McGarrigle in Largs or elsewhere in June 1997 and dumping her remains in the sea.

It is alleged they abducted the 39-year-old over fears she would report them for abusing a young boy.

The trial before Judge Lord Pentland at the High Court in Glasgow is expected to last about five weeks.

It is alleged that Mr Lauchlan, 33, and Mr O'Neill, 47, murdered Mrs McGarrigle, of Rothesay, Isle of Bute, on 21 June 1997 at their flat in Waterside Street, Largs, or elsewhere.

'Concealing body'

They are said to have abducted her and detained her against her will before seizing hold of her neck and compressing her throat.

It is claimed they did so because Mrs McGarrigle was aware of "criminal sexual activity" they were involved in with a young boy and that they believed she was going to report it to the authorities.

Mr Lauchlan and Mr O'Neill also face an allegation of attempting to defeat the ends of justice between 21 June and 1 September 1997.

High Court in Glasgow
The trial is expected to last five weeks at the High Court in Glasgow

They are accused of removing the mother-of-three's body to Largs Beach and concealing it under rocks.

It is said they later put her body in a bin and took it on a boat before throwing it into the sea.

Mr O'Neill has lodged a special defence incriminating Robert McGarrigle senior, the alleged victim's husband, as being responsible for her death.

Mr O'Neill also denies an allegation that he assaulted Elaine Mullan on 15 August 1996 in Rothesay.

It is claimed he repeatedly overtook a car that she and Mrs McGarrigle were in and repeatedly stopped in front of the vehicle causing Miss Mullan to take evasive action to avoid being struck.

He faces an alternative charge of culpable and reckless conduct in connection with the allegation.

The trial continues.

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