Tayside and Central Scotland

Brother blames former co-accused for Annalise Johnstone murder

Annalise Johnstone Image copyright Police Scotland

The brother of a woman whose body was found near a Perthshire memorial has told a trial his former co-accused murdered her.

Jordan Johnstone told a court Angela Newlands cut the throat of his sister Annalise Johnstone at Maggie's Wall Memorial at Dunning last May.

He said he cradled Annalise, 22, in his arms and tried to staunch the flow of blood from a wound.

Ms Newlands was earlier exonerated of all charges against her.

On Wednesday, she was formally found not guilty of murdering Miss Johnstone after the judge ruled there was insufficient evidence to convict her.

The prosecution withdrew the final charge of attempting to defeat the ends of justice when the court reconvened on Thursday.

'Stanley knife'

Mr Johnstone denies the murder and was giving evidence in his own defence at the High Court in Livingston.

He said Angela Newlands cut his sister's throat with a Stanley knife after going to look at the monument which marks the spot where a woman is said to have been burnt as a witch in 1657.

He told the court he remained in the car with Ms Newlands sleeping children.

He said he later carried his sister's body for around 40 minutes before dumping it behind a wall about two miles away because he feared Miss Newlands' father was going to "chop my wee sister up and throw her away".

Image caption Annalise Johnstone's body was discovered in May 2018

The jury previously heard agreed evidence that the cause of Miss Johnstone's death was a deep puncture wound to her neck which severed vital veins and arteries and caused death within a few minutes.

The prosecution and defence also confirmed that Mr Johnstone's car was near the Maggie's Wall Memorial at the time Miss Johnstone was attacked.

Earlier in the trial, Lady Scott warned the jury that any allegations made by one accused against another were not evidence.

The trial continues.

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