NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Timeline: Arlene Fraser case

The mysterious disappearance of mother-of-two Arlene Fraser in Elgin, Moray, has dominated headlines since 1998.

Here is how events have unfolded.

25 May 2011

Nat Fraser wins his appeal to have his conviction quashed.

Fraser wins Arlene murder appeal

21 Mar 2011

His case begins at the Supreme Court in London.

Arlene killer appeals conviction

31 May 2010

Nat Fraser plans to challenge his conviction at the Supreme Court in London.

Arlene killer to make new appeal

29 Jan 2010

Judges at the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh rule his latest legal move is incompetent.

Fraser loses wife murder appeal

12 Nov 2009

Nat Fraser claims at a legal debate before judges in Edinburgh, that his earlier appeal did not get a fair hearing.

Murderers make fresh appeal bids

30 June 2009

Grampian Police Assistant Chief Constable Jim Stephen, who led the high-profile investigation into the murder of Arlene Fraser, retires after 34 years of police service.

Arlene murder officer steps down

24 Mar 2009

Court of Criminal Appeal judges refuse his bid to appeal to the Privy Council in London.

Nat Fraser wife murder plea fails

3 Oct 2008

Nat Fraser announces plans to ask judges at the Court of Criminal Appeal if he can appeal to the Privy Council in London.

Nat Fraser in fresh murder appeal

6 May 2008

Nat Fraser loses his appeal against a life jail term for killing his wife Arlene.

Fraser loses Arlene murder appeal

28 April 2008

Ten years have passed since mother-of-two Arlene Fraser disappeared from her home in the north east.

Tenth anniversary of Arlene case

6 December 2007

Nat Fraser is returned to prison to await the judges' decision in his appeal against his conviction for killing his wife, Arlene.

Fraser back in jail after appeal

4 December 2007

Nat Fraser's defence team at his appeal rubbishes claims a jury would still have found him guilty had evidence about his wife Arlene's rings been available at trial.

Trial 'not fair' says Fraser team

29 November 2007

Overwhelming circumstantial evidence against Nat Fraser meant he did not suffer a miscarriage of justice, the appeal court hears.

Nat case evidence 'overwhelming'

28 November 2007

A defect in the Nat Fraser murder trial did not mean the case was unfair, the appeal court is told.

Fraser murder trial 'not unfair'

27 November 2007

The judge in the Nat Fraser murder trial made a mistake which made it harder for the Crown to seal a conviction, the appeal court hears.

Murder trial judge 'made mistake'

23 November 2007

A police officer was mistaken in thinking she saw Arlene Fraser's rings in her house shortly after she disappeared, the court hears.

Officer 'wrong' over Fraser rings

22 November 2007

A search of Arlene Fraser's house after she went missing may not have been thorough enough, the court is told.

Fraser search 'not good enough'

21 November 2007

Nat Fraser's defence team were better off without evidence about his wife Arlene's rings on which they have based their appeal, a court is told.

Fraser rings 'would help Crown'

16 November 2007

A "compelling body" of circumstantial evidence points towards the guilt of convicted wife murderer Nat Fraser, the court hears.

Fraser case evidence 'compelling'

15 November 2007

Police lied to the prosecutor in the Nat Fraser murder trial in order to get a conviction, it is claimed.

Police 'lied' over Nat evidence

14 November 2007

The prosecutor who secured Nat Fraser's conviction for murdering his wife was unaware of important evidence until two years later, appeal judges hear.

Prosecutor 'unaware' of evidence

13 November 2007

Evidence allegedly withheld by prosecutors undermines the guilty verdict on a man convicted of murdering his wife, the appeal court is told.

Fraser begins wife murder appeal

6 June 2007

Convicted killer Nat Fraser is to challenge his conviction for murdering his wife when a full appeal is heard later this year.

Date set for Fraser murder appeal

14 September 2006

One of the men cleared of murdering the Elgin woman Arlene Fraser is found dead at his home in Lincolnshire.

Arlene former accused found dead

22 May 2006

Relatives of murder victim Arlene Fraser call for her husband to be put back in jail after fresh allegations about him in the press.

Arlene family urge bail rethink

12 May 2006

Nat Fraser, who was jailed for murdering his wife Arlene, is freed from prison pending an appeal.

Fraser freed ahead of appeal case

13 March 2006

Inquiries into the Arlene Fraser murder case should extend to the "highest levels" of the police force involved, according to her husband's lawyer.

Lawyer's call over Fraser probes

11 March 2006

Two inquiries have been ordered after it emerged relevant evidence was not made available to the trial of Nat Fraser.

Probes ordered into Fraser case

19 October 2005

Evidence emerges which suggests that a key witness in the Arlene Fraser murder trial lied.

Doubts over Fraser trial evidence

6 May 2005

Nat Fraser is allowed to appeal against his conviction for killing his wife Arlene.

Wife killer wins right to appeal

19 December 2004

Grampian Police refuse to comment on allegations over crucial evidence in the trial.

Claims over Arlene ring evidence

19 December 2003

Nat Fraser lodges an appeal against his conviction for murdering his wife.

Killer Fraser lodges appeal

13 June 2003

The detective who led the investigation into the murder of Arlene Fraser is recognised in the Birthday Honours List.

Honour for Arlene detective

21 April 2003

The family and friends of Arlene Fraser gather to remember her at a special service in Elgin.

Service for murdered mother

30 January 2003

Police reveal how a forensic lip-reader was used to help catch the killer of Arlene Fraser.

Lip-reader helped to catch wife killer

29 January 2003

Police vow to confront Nat Fraser in prison in a bid to find out what happened to his wife.

Arlene body search will go on

29 January 2003

The jury in the trial of businessman Nat Fraser finds him guilty of murdering his wife, who went missing almost five years ago.

Husband guilty of Arlene murder

28 January 2003

Defence and prosecution lawyers in the trial of Nat Fraser, who is accused of murdering his wife Arlene, give their closing speeches to the jury.

Closing speeches in murder trial

28 January 2003

Nat Fraser has three charges of attempting to defeat the ends of justice against him dropped.

Arlene husband charges changed

27 January 2003

The husband of missing woman Arlene Fraser denies killing his wife out of greed as he finishes giving evidence at the High Court in Edinburgh. There is also a clash over evidence provided by key prosecution witness Hector Dick and detectives involved in the search for Mrs Fraser.

Arlene 'killed out of greed'

24 January 2003

Nat Fraser tells the court that he loved Arlene and did not murder her. He says the couple's relationship was "stormy at times" but he adds that he still wanted her back when they split up in 1998.

Accused husband 'loved Arlene'

22 January 2003

Nat Fraser allegedly warned Arlene that she would "not live with anyone" if she left him. Marion Taylor tells the High Court in Edinburgh, Arlene Fraser talked about the threat just days before going missing.

Claim husband warned Arlene

21 January 2003

Key prosecution witness Hector Dick denies that he killed Arlene Fraser. Mr Dick tells the High Court in Edinburgh that Nat Fraser had hired a hit man to kill his wife.

Arlene witness: 'I'm no killer'

20 January 2003

Hector Dick admits burning and crushing a car because of fears that it might be linked to the disappearance of Mrs Fraser.

Arlene witness 'crushed' car

14 January 2003

Two of the three men accused of plotting to murder Arlene Fraser have the charges against them dropped. In a dramatic development, the High Court in Edinburgh hears that the Crown would not be proceeding with charges against Hector Dick and Glenn Lucas.

Arlene murder charges dropped

10 January 2003

Three rings belonging to Arlene Fraser turned up in her bathroom more than a week after she disappeared. Mrs Fraser's stepmother said she found the wedding, engagement and eternity rings on a rail above the sink.

Rings 'found after disappearance'

9 January 2003

One of three men accused of murdering Arlene Fraser was "hanging about" outside her home a week before she disappeared, the court is told.

Arlene 'saw accused outside her home'

8 January 2003

The mother of Arlene Fraser confronted her son-in-law demanding to know what had happened, a High Court jury is told.

Arlene's mother quizzed son-in-law

7 January 2003

The trial of three men accused of murdering Arlene Fraser begins. It hears she disappeared on the day she was due to see a solicitor about a divorce.

Arlene murder trial opens

26 April 2002

Three men are indicted for the murder of missing mother Arlene Fraser. The Crown Office said the men involved were Arlene's estranged husband Nat Fraser, his friend Hector Dick and English businessman Glenn Lucas. They are all charged with conspiring to murder Mrs Fraser, murdering her and attempting to defeat the ends of justice.

Husband charged with Arlene murder

2 April 2001

The husband of Arlene Fraser is jailed for 12 months after admitting legal aid fraud. Sheriff James Penman tells Nat Fraser it was a very serious crime and there is no alternative but to impose a custodial sentence.

Arlene husband jailed again

1 March 2000

Nat Fraser is jailed for 18 months for assaulting Arlene, who at this stage had been missing for almost two years. Mr Fraser is sentenced at the High Court in Edinburgh after previously admitting a reduced charge of compressing his wife Arlene's neck to the danger of her life.

Arlene husband jailed

9 February 2000

The family of Arlene Fraser say they are disappointed that an attempted murder charge against her husband has been dropped. Nat Fraser, 41, admits a reduced charge of assault by compressing his wife Arlene's neck to the danger of her life.

Arlene family 'sick' over dropped charge

12 November 1999

Nat Fraser appears at the High Court in Aberdeen charged with assaulting and attempting to murder his wife. The crimes are said to have taken place in the months before Mrs Fraser vanished from her home.

Missing woman's husband in court

1 October 1999

An indictment is served on Arlene Fraser's husband, the Crown Office confirms.

Missing woman's husband faces charges

30 August 1999

Police confirm that fresh inquiries are being carried out into the disappearance of Arlene Fraser.

Police move in Arlene mystery case

28 April 1999

Arlene Fraser's family mark the anniversary of her disappearance with a new appeal for information. Arlene telephoned her children's school on 28 April, 1998. She has not been heard of since.

New appeal in Arlene mystery

27 October 1998

The senior detective investigating the disappearance of Arlene Fraser says he believes she is dead and the victim of "something criminal". Detective Chief Inspector Peter Simpson said officers had found no evidence that Mrs Fraser was still alive.

Police fear missing mother is dead

28 April 1998

Arlene Fraser is last seen waving her children off to school. Grampian Police officers admit they are baffled by her disappearance.

Search for missing mother stepped up

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