Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Man on trial for Morningside murder of OAP Eleanor Whitelaw

Morningside Grove Pic: Morag Kinniburgh
Image caption The court heard that Eleanor Whitelaw was attacked on the doorstep of her Morningside home

A man has gone on trial accused of the murder of an 85-year-old woman at her Edinburgh home.

Robert Buczek, 24, denies murdering Eleanor Whitelaw at her home in Morningside Grove on 11 July last year.

He has been charged with striking her repeatedly on the neck and body with a pair of scissors and inflicting blunt force trauma on her head and body by means unknown.

The pensioner died in Edinburgh Royal Infirmary 17 days later.

Mr Buczek also denies robbing Mrs Whitelaw of stamps, a box containing spoons, two cameras and jewellery.

The jury was shown photographs of the interior of the Victorian villa in Morningside where Mrs Whitelaw lived with her husband Robert.

Prosecutor Alex Prentice told the court that Mr Whitelaw went out to a shop in the afternoon and returned to find his wife lying badly injured in the morning room off the kitchen.

Forensic scientist Amanda Pirie, 42, told the High Court in Glasgow that Mrs Whitelaw was attacked on her doorstep then dragged inside badly injured.

Mrs Pirie told the court there was a lot of blood at the doorway and drag marks in blood leading from there to the morning room.

She also said she had found what she described as "a potential footwear mark in blood" in the bathroom.

She told the jury: "In my opinion the scientific findings are consistent with Eleanor Whitelaw having been assaulted and having sustained a severe bleeding injury to her neck and having bled profusely in the hallway and then been dragged along the hallway to where she was found by her husband."

Mrs Pirie added: "Someone had opened doors of cupboards in the house with gloved hands and had touched items.

"Someone had also stepped into wet blood and walked upstairs and into the bathroom."

The court was told in a joint minute of agreement that a pair of Nike Air Max training shoes were seized from Buczek's home in the Martello Court block of flats in the Muirhouse area of Edinburgh on 26 July last year.

The jury also heard that a black box containing spoons belonging to Mr Whitelaw were found in the grounds of Martello Court and that Mrs Whitelaw died as a result of complications of the injuries she suffered, with the injury to the neck being the most significant.

The trial, before Lord Matthews, continues.

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