Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

World's End murders: Accused 'touched most ligatures'

Christine Eadie and Helen Scott Image copyright PA
Image caption Christine Eadie and her friend Helen Scott were killed in October 1977

A witness has told the World's End murder trial that the accused had contact with "most, if not all" the ligatures used to tie up the victims.

Angus Sinclair, 69, denies raping and murdering 17-year-olds Helen Scott and Christine Eadie in October 1977.

The teenagers were last seen leaving the World's End pub in Edinburgh.

Forensic scientist Geraldine Davidson said the amount of DNA testing carried out in this case was beyond anything she had done before.

Mr Sinclair is accused of carrying out the attacks along with his brother-in-law Gordon Hamilton, who is now dead.

Ms Davidson was giving evidence for a fifth day at the High Court in Livingston.

'Extremely strong'

She said that about 125 stains on the pieces of clothing used to restrain the girls had been examined during at least two years of "extensive, meticulous" testing.

She added: "The findings provide extremely strong support for the view that Gordon Hamilton and/or Angus Sinclair were involved in restraining and strangling both Helen Scott and Christine Eadie rather than any unknown and undetected individual."

Image copyright other
Image caption Angus Sinclair, pictured in 1977, denies killing the teenagers

Mr Sinclair has submitted three special defences of incrimination - blaming his late brother-in-law Gordon Hamilton; one of alibi - saying he was fishing on the banks of the Firth of Forth near Cockenzie power station at the time; and that the two girls consented to sexual intercourse.

Mr Sinclair is alleged to have gagged the girls, bound their wrists and tied a ligature around their necks.

He denies inflicting blunt force injuries on Ms Eadie by repeatedly punching and kicking her on the body and biting her.

He also denies forcing Ms Scott to walk barefoot into a field, ripping the strap from her handbag, repeatedly punching and kicking her on the head and body and stamping on her head.

And he denies stealing clothing, footwear, jewellery and other personal effects from the teenagers in an attempt to pervert the course of justice.

The trial at the High Court in Livingston continues.

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