Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Liam Fee murder trial: Accused couple 'knew they were in trouble'

Liam fee
Image caption The two women deny murdering Liam Fee

A friend of Rachel and Nyomi Fee has told a court they "knew they were in trouble" after Liam died.

John Taylor, 27, said he had been with the two accused in the days after Liam Fee was found dead in Glenrothes, Fife on 22 March 2014.

He said Rachel Fee had asked "do you think we'll get a cell together?" after he suggested they would be going to jail for neglect.

Rachel and Nyomi Fee deny murdering Liam and blaming his death on a child.

The trial at the High Court in Livingston continues.

The pair are also charged with a catalogue of allegations that they neglected Liam and abused two other children, one of whom they blame for killing Liam, while in their care over a two-year period.

The women, who are both originally from Ryton, Tyne and Wear, deny all the charges against them.

'Very weird'

Mr Taylor told the court he had a "weird" meeting with the pair after Liam died, which made him feel uncomfortable and want to get drunk.

During one encounter, they used "horrible names" to refer to a young boy they claimed had strangled Liam, the court heard.

The witness told the court that he and his partner have known the couple for about four years and would see them on a regular basis.

He described how he met the women in a Dunfermline pub on the Tuesday after Saturday 22 March 2014, and then met them again some days later.

Asked about the women's attitude on the second meeting, he said: "Nyomi didn't really care. I felt sorry for Rachel to be honest. I think at one point I said: 'You'll be going to jail for neglect'."

He went on: "Rachel said, 'Do you think we'll get a cell together?"

Mr Taylor said he was distraught and upset during the meeting, which he described as "strange".

He told the court: "They just knew there was something wrong. They knew they were in trouble. They didn't seem that bothered. It was very weird, uncomfortable."

"I was like, I can't believe what I'm hearing, I just need to get drunk... Me and Rachel got really upset, I was comforting Rachel quite a lot," he said.

He said the women claimed a young boy had "strangled" Liam or put his hand over the child's mouth.

"There wasn't really much talk about Liam. It was more they were angry with the boy, to be honest," he said.

Mr Taylor later told the court the women had used "horrible names" to refer to the young boy and said he was "like an animal".

Names such as "little monster" and "rapist" were used to refer to the boy, the witness said.

During cross questioning by defence QC Mark Stewart, it emerged that the witness is in jail for police assault, his second time in custody.

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