Attempts to check pulse were ‘pointless’, court hears

A man has told the High Court in Edinburgh he got the “heebie jeebies” after he tried to take the pulse of a body lying outside his home.

Allan MacLean, 52, told a jury on Friday how he tried to see if the corpse was still alive when he left his property in the early hours of 30th July.

Mr MacLean was giving evidence on the eighth day of proceedings against Ross MacDougall, 32, and 29-year-old Dawn Smith.

Both Mr MacDougall and Ms Smith deny murdering Tracy Walker in Lerwick on 30th July last year. The pair are also standing trial on four other charges.

The Lerwick murder trial heard how Mr MacLean was sitting in his house in Ladies Drive, Lerwick, watching his TV when he heard screaming and shouting.

He said that he went outside to find his neighbour Gary Latham and a man he called “Michael from Aberdeen”. Mr MacLean said he then saw a body and he tried to see if there any signs of life.

He told prosecution lawyer Steven Borthwick: “I tried taking the pulse but it was pointless.”

On Friday, Mr MacLean told the court that there was usually lots of noise coming from the street where he stayed.

He told Mr Borthwick that he usually didn’t bother checking out the noise but he heard comments which interested him.

He said: “It was something about a girl and her head or being being cut or something like that. That’s what piqued my interest.

“I heard noises, screaming and shouting. It was a racket.”

Mr MacLean said he left his property and found his neighbour Mr Latham and the man called Michael from Aberdeen.

He said the pair were screaming and shouting but he couldn’t understand what they were saying.

Mr MacLean added: “The two of them weren’t able to speaking properly or do anything.”

The witness said he saw ‘mouth to mouth’ being attempted.

He added: “But there was no point.”

Mr MacLean told the court the police later arrived at the scene and he provided officers with a statement.

Speaking about what he later did, Mr MacLean added: “I went back and packed a bag and I went to my mate’s.

“I didn’t want to be outside staring at a dead body all night. It gave me the heebie jeebies.”

Both Mr MacDougall and Ms Smith have entered not guilty pleas to all charges on the indictment.

The trial before judge Lord Uist continues.


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