Two drug users who attacked a mother of two with a knife during a failed robbery bid in Lerwick have been found guilty of murder.
Ross MacDougall, 32, and Dawn Smith, 29, repeatedly stabbed Tracy Walker, 40, in the throat in July 2019.
The High Court in Edinburgh heard how the duo targeted Ms Walker because they needed money to buy drugs. They knew Ms Walker was carrying money and targeted her in the hope they could get the cash from her.
A jury heard how Smith handed MacDougall a fish filleting knife which she took from her step father’s home in the town.
The pair then confronted Ms Walker and MacDougall struck her on the head with a rock before strangling her and repeatedly stabbing her in the throat. He cut her carotid artery and jugular vein during the horrific assault.
Jurors heard how following the attack, Smith stood for 10 minutes and watched her victim die before she and MacDougall left the scene. She told a man how she witnessed Ms Walker lying on the ground “gargling” and holding her neck in the moments where she fought in vain for her life.
But rather than phone for an ambulance, both MacDougall and Smith left the scene and took a ride in his mother’s car.
The pair had denied murder and other charges. On Thursday, jurors returned guilty verdicts to a charge of murder.
Smith was also convicted of illegal knife possession. MacDougall was also convicted of attempting to pervert the course of justice by asking a man, Kyle Swannie, to provide him with an alibi and a change of clothes.
MacDougall did these things with the purpose of destroying evidence in respect of the attack on Ms Walker.
The pair were cleared of a charge which alleged they assaulted a man called Gary Latham, who gave evidence during the trial.
Following the verdicts, Lord Uist continued proceedings until Friday morning.
He told the duo: “The reason for that is that there is further procedure to deal with and I will have to hear from counsel.”
After the jury returned its verdict Shetland area commander Lindsay Tulloch said: “This was a harrowing ordeal for Tracy’s family, her friends and those who knew her and my thoughts are with them as they continue to come to terms with what happened.
“I would like to thank people from the local community for their quick actions in contacting emergency services during what I’m sure must have been a harrowing ordeal.
“What happened that day has had a huge impact on many families and people, the effect of which will continue for some time to come.
“Fortunately, this kind of crime is rare on Shetland and officers will continue to work to keep everyone in our communities safe.
“But this conviction should send a clear message that violence like this has no place in our society and will not be tolerated.
“Police Scotland will continue to work alongside our partners at the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal service to make sure that any perpetrators are brought to justice and removed from our communities.”