Accused tells of ‘gargling’ noises coming from woman who died


A woman accused of murder spoke of how her alleged victim made “gargling” sounds moments after being “cut” on the neck with a knife, a court has heard.

Barry Colquhoun, 36, said how he spoke to Dawn Smith, 29, hours after Tracy Walker lost her life at Lerwick in July 2019.

The High Court in Edinburgh heard Mr Colquhoun say that Smith told him that her co-accused, Ross MacDougall, 32, assaulted Ms Walker.

Mr Colquhoun told prosecution lawyer Steven Borthwick that he had spoken to Smith while he was working as a gardener at a home in Gulberwick.

He told the court that he had heard stories about an attack which had taken place earlier and that he had raised it with Smith.

Mr Colquhoun added: “She said she knew what had happened and she was present.

“When she told me, I was taken aback. I asked her what happened.

“She said that Ross had killed Tracy and he had struck her with a rock to the side of her head and then proceeded to strike her one more time on her head.

“At that point, Tracy was on the ground and Ross had cut her with a knife.

“She said it was horrific. You could hear Tracy gargling.”

Mr Colquhoun, who lives in Glasgow, was giving evidence on the ninth day of proceedings against MacDougall and Smith. The two accused deny murdering Ms Walker and other charges.

On Monday, Mr Colquhoun told Mr Borthwick that Smith had told her that following the incident, MacDougall handed her the knife and she placed it in her bag.

Mr Colquhoun said Smith told him that she and MacDougall had taken a taxi from the scene. He then described what Ms Smith said next.

He said: “They took Ross’s mother’s car and went on a long drive into the hills where they got rid of their clothes, phones and the weapon.”

Mr Colquhoun told the court that Ms Smith said she didn’t “do it”.

He added: “At that point I told her to speak to the police. I told her that several times.”

Mr Colquhoun also said that Smith appeared to be “deflated” when she was speaking to him.

He said: “She said she had to get off the island. I said to her ‘you need to speak to the police’.”

Mr Colquhoun also said that Smith said that Ms Walker was in debt to her during the conversation.

He added: “She said that Tracy owed her money and that if she was able to buy drugs then she was able to pay back the money she owed her.”

Prosecutors claim that on 30th July 2019 at Ladies Drive, Smith had “without reasonable excuse or lawful authority” a knife. It is stated that this was “contrary to the Criminal Law (Consolidation) Scotland Act 1995”.

The second charge alleges that on the same date at the same location, MacDougall and Smith assaulted Ms Walker and inflicted “blunt force trauma to her head by means unknown”.

It is also alleged that the two accused compressed her neck with their hands and that they struck her repeatedly on the neck and hand with “a knife or similar instrument”.

Prosecutors claim that the two accused attempted to rob her of money and that they “did murder her”.

On 30th July 2019, at Ladies Drive in Lerwick, it is alleged that MacDougall and Smith assaulted Gary Latham and brandished a knife at him.

It is claimed that they demanded “money and drugs” from Mr Latham before pursuing him. The two accused then allegedly kicked the door to Mr Latham’s house and prosecutors claim they did this with “the intent to rob him”.

The fourth charge states that on 30th July 2019, at 18 Bakland, Lerwick, the two with “‘intent to impede, obstruct or hinder the course of justice” did ask Kyle Swannie to provide them with an alibi, a “change of clothing and a bag”.

It is claimed that they put clothing which they had been wearing into the bag and disposed of it by “means unknown” to the prosecutor.

The indictment states that they carried out the alleged action to “conceal and destroy evidence” in respect of the murder allegation and to “avoid detection” with “intent to pervert the course of justice” and that they did “attempt to pervert the course of justice”.

The fifth charge alleges that on 30th July 2019, at 103 Nederdale, Lerwick, MacDougall took and drove a car without having the consent of its owner. Prosecutors claim his alleged actions breached the Road Traffic Act 1988.

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

The trial before judge Lord Uist continues.


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