Man found guilty of murdering ex-fiancee weeks after split

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Frazer NeilImage source, Spindrift
Image caption,
Frazer Neil denies raping and murdering Hannah Dorans

A man has been convicted of murdering his ex-fiancee after she split up with him.

Frazer Neil, 25, choked Hannah Dorans with a dressing gown cord at the flat they once shared in Edinburgh.

Miss Dorans, 21, had ended their four-year relationship weeks before she was killed on 11 February last year.

A jury heard Neil, who will be sentenced next month, lured the care assistant to the flat after he discovered she was dating another man.

The couple had met while they were both first aid volunteers and later moved into a flat in Edinburgh before getting engaged in 2015.

The High Court in Glasgow heard evidence of Neil's "controlling" behaviour, despite him claiming to be in love with Miss Dorans.

This included stopping her going on nights out, seeing friends and blocking people she knew on social media.

Neil also lived off Miss Dorans' wages from her care assistant's job at a private hospital in Edinburgh.

Image source, Police Scotland
Image caption,
Hannah Dorans was found dead in a flat in Edinburgh

Her father Keith recalled how he ended up seeing "less and less" of his daughter.

He told the trial: "Near the end we were lucky if we saw her once a month. If Hannah was there, Frazer was there."

But, in late January 2017, Miss Dorans appeared at her parents' house one morning.

Her father said it seemed she had fallen out with Neil and had "had enough".

The final straw was a glamping holiday Neil arranged that she was not happy about.

Mr Dorans said his daughter was "delighted at being free".

But Neil continued to hound her in what he claimed was a bid to reconcile and "find out what went wrong".

'I've killed her'

Prosecutors said he eventually lured Miss Dorans, from Dalkeith, back to his flat by withholding paperwork she needed for a new car.

Jurors heard a 999 call he went on to make in which a hysterical Neil states: "I've killed her. I didn't mean to do it."

But in court Neil claimed he could not remember what happened that morning.

He said: "In some way, shape or form Hannah died at my hands. I cannot bring her back. I would if I could in a heartbeat."

Neil also denied being "jealous" after discovering Miss Dorans had gone on a date with another man.

Jurors heard that she was found with a tie or cord from a dressing gown around her neck when police turned up.

Neil claimed he and his former girlfriend had a shared interest in Fifty Shades of Grey-style sex games.

Prosecutor Alex Prentice QC said Neil had pulled the cord "so tight" Miss Dorans could not breathe.

'Manipulative and dangerous'

The court also heard Neil had got in contact with her parents while on bail for the murder. This was to "help arrange" her funeral.

Miss Dorans' mother Moira recalled feeling "numb" when she read the Facebook message.

Neil faces a life sentence when he returns to the dock next month.

Det Insp Stuart Alexander said the murder has caused the Dorans family "indescribable pain" but hoped they would be able to draw some comfort from the verdict.

He added: "During the course of the trial, Neil was shown to be a manipulative and dangerous individual who brutally took the life of a young woman who once trusted him.

"He continues to show no comprehension of the severity of his crimes and the devastation his actions have caused.

"To lose Hannah in such a way has caused indescribable pain to her family, friends and colleagues and my sympathies continue to be with them."