Murder trial postponed due to ‘unprecedented’ situation

A judge has postponed a trial of two people accused of murdering a woman due to the continuing coronavirus crisis.

Lord Tyre said that proceedings against Ross MacDougall, 31, and Dawn Smith,28, couldn’t advance due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

During a short hearing at the High Court in Edinburgh on Wednesday, Lord Tyre said: “The situation we find ourselves in, as has been said over and over again, is an unprecedented one.

“It is outwith the court’s control for this to proceed to trial.”

The two accused appeared at a procedural hearing in the case at the High Court in Glasgow last November.

On that occasion, a legal document detailed the charges facing MacDougall and Smith.

The two allegedly murdered Ms Walker on 30th July 2019 at Ladies Drive in Lerwick.

Prosecutors claim that 40-year-old Ms Walker suffered blunt force trauma “by means unknown” had her neck compressed and was repeatedly struck with a knife.

It is also claimed that MacDougall and Smith tried to rob Ms Walker of money.

The duo are further accused of assaulting a man at the same location on the same day.

The charge includes claims they brandished a knife at him and did intend to rob him.

They are also accused of attempting to pervert the course of justice after the alleged killing.

Prosecutors claimed that they asked a man to provide them with an alibi, a change of clothes and a bag.

The Crown claimed that it was to help “conceal and destroy evidence” as well as “avoid detection”.

MacDougall also faces a separate allegation of taking a car from a house in Lerwick.

Smith is also charged with having a knife in a public place.

The pair denied the allegations during the Glasgow hearing.

Another procedural hearing in the case will take place at the High Court in Glasgow on 15th July.

James Mulholland


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