Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Man on trial over sister's rape and murder in St Andrews

Bobby Jones Place, St Andrews Image copyright Google

A man has gone on trial accused of raping and murdering his sister in Fife.

Charles Gordon, 52, denies murdering Elizabeth Bowe by putting a dressing gown around her neck, compressing it and placing a bag over her head at her St Andrews home on 17 September 2016.

He also denies removing his 51-year-old sister's clothing and raping her.

At the High Court in Glasgow police officer Nicola Glover told how she was called to Ms Bowe's house at 21:00.

She told the court two other police officers were already there. One had taken Mr Gordon outside and the other was performing CPR on Ms Bowe, who was lying on the living room floor.

Blood around mouth

PC Glover was asked by prosecutor Iain McSporran: "At any time did you see signs of life," and she replied: "None. There was quite a lot of blood around her mouth on the right-hand side. I think there was also blood on her arm."

The police officer was asked what she noticed next to Ms Bowe and said: "There was a bloodstained blue towel above her head and a Morrisons bag torn into pieces. There was blood on them."

She added that the pieces of the bag were also above Ms Bowe's head.

Mr McSporran said: "What you have described as a towel could that be a dressing gown," and PC Glover replied: "It could have been."

The jury was told that Ms Bowe was unconscious when the police arrived and never regained consciousness. She died in Ninewells Hospital in Dundee.

PC Glover was asked if she had seen signs of a disturbance in the living room and replied: "Not so much. I saw a mug with the handle broken off on the living room floor and a pair of spectacles which were lying on the floor."

The jury was shown CCTV taken at Morrisons in St Andrews at 14:00 on 17 September 20016 which showed Mr Gordon and his sister walking around shopping .

'He was scrounging'

Earlier Ms Bowe's son who is also called Charles Gordon, 31, gave evidence saying the accused, who he called Chick, was at his mother's because he was "a scrounger."

He added: "He was scrounging basically. The only way he was there was to use my mum for money,"

Mr Gordon said he received a call from his mother about 18:45 the night she died.

He said: "She had been in an argument with Chick. I think she put the phone down beside her so that I could hear what was going on.

"I assumed the two of them had been drinking. It was tit-for-tat, back-and-forth, stupid stuff."

He was asked if he had any concerns following the call and replied: "No more than usual."

Mr Gordon told the court he went to bed and was woken in the early hours of the morning by police who told him his mother was gravely ill in hospital.

The trial before Judge John Morris continues.

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