Tayside and Central Scotland

Man denies rape and murder of Dundee mother

Mary McLaren
Image caption Mary McLaren's body was found hidden in undergrowth in Dundee

A man charged with raping and murdering a mother, before concealing her body, has denied the charges.

Patrick Rae, 40, pleaded not guilty to the murder of Mary McLaren in Dundee earlier this year and to attempting to defeat the ends of justice.

Mrs McLaren, 34, went missing following a night out with her sister in the city on 25 February.

Her body was found on an embankment near Dundee's Ladywell roundabout almost two weeks later.

During the preliminary hearing at the High Court in Edinburgh, Mr Rae was accused of assaulting Mrs McLaren between 25 February and 10 March at North Marketgait and elsewhere in Dundee.

He is alleged to have repeatedly struck her head and body against a hard surface and forcibly removed her clothing.

Mr Rae is also charged with striking her on the neck with a knife or similar instrument and placing fabric over her throat, as well as seizing her by the throat and compressing it, restricting her breathing.

It is finally alleged that he concealed Ms McLaren's body under leaf litter and plant foliage at North Marketgait and then disposed of a coat and bag belonging to her.

Judge Lord Kinclaven fixed a further preliminary hearing in the case for October.

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