Glasgow & West Scotland

Murder accused 'wanted rid' of Allison McGarrigle

Image caption Allison McGarrigle's body has never been discovered

A murder accused wanted "rid" of a woman before he and a friend killed her and dumped the body at sea, a court has been told.

The claim was made by a man who was abused as a boy by Charles O'Neill and William Lauchlan.

O'Neill and Lauchlan deny strangling Allison McGarrigle in June 1997 to stop her reporting the abuse.

Mrs McGarrigle's body has never been found.

The trial at the High Court in Glasgow was told it was accepted that O'Neill, 47, and Lauchlan, 33, sexually abused the young boy in the 1990s.

The abuse victim, now aged 26, told the court he got to know the pair when they stayed in Rothesay, Isle of Bute.

He said he grew to "love" them both and that they would often buy him gifts and made him feel confident.

He told prosecutor Dorothy Bain QC that at the time he felt "safe" with O'Neill and Lauchlan.

The court heard it was he who had introduced Mrs McGarrigle to the pair. They later stayed with O'Neill and Lauchlan in Largs, Ayrshire.

Special defence

He told the court that Mrs McGarrigle was locked in the house and was not allowed to go out on her own.

The man later said that O'Neill once stated: "We will need to get rid of her".

He agreed with Miss Bain that the remark sounded "serious" but said he did not know if Mrs McGarrigle was aware of the sexual abuse he suffered.

The trial earlier heard from another witness who claimed Lauchlan had "joked" that Mrs McGarrigle had fallen from the Rothesay ferry.

Lauchlan and O'Neill deny murder and attempting to defeat the ends of justice.

O'Neill has lodged a special defence incriminating Mrs McGarrigle's husband Robert as being responsible for her death.

He also faces a a charge of assaulting Elaine Mullan or an alternative allegation of culpable and reckless conduct.

The trial, before judge Lord Pentland, continues.

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