Glasgow & West Scotland

Accused claims 'no motive' to kill Allison McGarrigle

Alison McGarrigle
Image caption Allison McGarrigle's body has never been discovered

A man has told a murder trial that there was "no motive" for him to allegedly help kill a woman and then dump her body at sea.

William Lauchlan told the High Court in Glasgow that he "got on great" with Allison McGarrigle.

Mr Lauchlan, 33, and Charles O'Neill, 47, deny murdering Mrs McGarrigle in June 1997 to stop her reporting the abuse of a young boy.

They are also accused of putting her body in a bin and dropping it in water.

Mrs McGarrigle was reported missing in February 1998. Her body has never been recovered and she was declared dead in 2005.

During his second day of evidence, Mr Lauchlan heard prosecutor Dorothy Bain QC say that Mrs McGarrigle was going to report the abuse of a boy he and O'Neil are said to have "engaged in criminal sexual activity with".

Miss Bain said the "risk" she posed to them became a "reality" and that she "had to be stopped".

Mr Lauchlan, who repeatedly maintained it was a "relationship" with the youngster, denied the woman was aware of anything.

Miss Bain asked: "You have the motive (for killing Mrs McGarrigle)?"

Mr Lauchlan replied: "There was no motive."

He also denied that he and Mr O'Neill hated Mrs McGarrigle and said: "I got on great with Allison, perfectly well."

Miss Bain had earlier suggested that it made "no sense" that Mrs McGarrigle had instead run off.

'Plain' evidence

Mr Lauchlan said: "It was not unusual for Allison to take off. It was nothing new - par for the course."

The prosecutor suggested Mrs McGarrigle was killed by the "only two men in the world that she posed a risk to".

She said: "The evidence is plain to see. The past has caught up and along with Charles O'Neill you are responsible for the murder."

Mr Lauchlan replied: "No."

Mr Lauchlan and Mr O'Neill deny murder and attempting to defeat the ends of justice.

Mr O'Neill has lodged a special defence incriminating Mrs McGarrigle's husband Robert as being responsible for her death.

The trial, before Judge Lord Pentland, continues.

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