Enough evidence to convict pair in murder trial, says prosecutor

A prosecutor has called on a jury to convict a man and his alleged accomplice of a “truly dreadful” murder of a woman.

Steven Borthwick told jurors that there was enough evidence available to satisfy them that Ross MacDougall, 32, and Dawn Smith, 29, murdered Tracy Walker in Lerwick in July 2019.

Both MacDougall and Smith have pleaded not guilty to murder and other charges.

The High Court in Edinburgh heard Mr Borthwick say on Wednesday that the two accused planned to rob Ms Walker in a bid to obtain cash to buy drugs.

The advocate depute told the court that it was the Crown’s case that Smith gave MacDougall a fish filleting knife which he used to assault Ms Walker.

And Mr Borthwick told the court that Smith did not do anything to help Ms Walker following the incident.

Mr Borthwick said: “The Crown case is that Tracy Walker was killed by Ross MacDougall with a fish filleting knife which she took from her step father’s house.

“Dawn Smith stood and watched for 10 minutes as Tracy Walker gargled.

“Neither Dawn Smith or Ross MacDougall raised a finger to call for help or to phone for an ambulance.”

Mr Borthwick was making his closing speech on the 14th day of proceedings against MacDougall and Smith.

The pair deny murdering Ms Walker on 30th July 2019 at Ladies Drive.

On Wednesday, Mr Borthwick told the jury that the Crown believed that the pair wanted to buy drugs from Gary Latham, a man who gave evidence earlier in proceedings.

He told the jury that both MacDougall and Smith did not have enough cash but learned that Ms Walker had money on her as she was wanting to buy narcotics.

He added: “The evidence shows that they wanted to rob Tracy Walker in order to buy drugs from Gary Latham.”

He told the jury that witnesses heard the two accused state they were “going on a mission” and that Smith had “wound” MacDougall up to commit a robbery.

Mr Borthwick also said that Smith did not do anything to help Ms Walker in the aftermath of the alleged assault.

He added: “The evidence suggests that for 10 minutes she stood and watched Tracy Walker die.”

Mr Borthwick said that after the alleged murder, the two accused took a ride in MacDougall’s mother’s car.

The advocate told the jury that although MacDougall physically assaulted Ms Walker, Smith could also be held responsible for murdering her.

He said the evidence showed that the pair had acted “in concert” with each other by planning to rob Ms Walker and that Smith provided MacDougall with the weapon used to assault the alleged victim.

He said he believed this showed they were engaged in a “joint criminal enterprise” and this would allow the jury to return a guilty verdict against Smith on the murder charge.

Mr Borthwick added: “It is my submission that when you consider all the evidence you will come to the conclusion that both Ross MacDougall and Dawn Smith are guilty of the murder of Tracy Walker.”

MacDougall’s lawyer Brian McConnachie QC told the jury they should acquit his client.

He said: “You know Tracy Walker was attacked and her throat was cut with a knife.

“You know she was something like five feet two inches and barely over six stone – if Ross MacDougall wanted to take her money or take drugs that is something you may think he could have achieved without any weapon.”

Mr McConnachie said that a knife left at the scene was that of Smith’s step father.

The advocate also said that if three witnesses were telling the truth, MacDougall was lying over the top of Ms Walker as her carotid artery was cut and blood was coming out under pressure.

The court had earlier heard evidence which suggested MacDougall had been wearing a Chelsea FC football top on the night of the alleged murder.

He added: “Not a single drop of that blood makes its way onto the Chelsea top recovered from Mr MacDougall’s house.”

Paul Nelson, for Smith, said: “The one and only person responsible for that death sits in the dock – Ross MacDougall.

“Dawn Smith was not acting with him. He, and he alone, decided to attack Tracy Walker.”

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”.

The two accused have pleaded not guilty.

The trial continues.


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