Confusion over Allison McGarrigle sighting

Image caption,
Allison McGarrigle's body has never been discovered

A woman who claimed she saw a murder victim weeks after she was allegedly killed and dumped at sea has said she may have confused the dates.

Jean Menzies originally told police she spotted Allison McGarrigle in Weymss Bay, Inverclyde, on 4 July 1997.

But at the High Court in Glasgow she admitted it could have been 27 June.

Charles O'Neill, 47, and William Lauchlan, 33, deny killing 39-year-old Allison McGarrigle to prevent her reporting the abuse of a young boy.

Mrs McGarrigle was reported missing in February 1998. Her body has never been recovered and she was declared dead in 2005.

The court heard that Jean Menzies, 63, gave a statement to police that she was in Weymss Bay on 4 July 1997.

She added: "I don't know what made me look back, but, when I did, I saw Allison going into the chippy. It was definitely Allison."

Special defence

Mrs Menzies then spoke to police again and said it could have instead been 27 June when she saw Mrs McGarrigle.

Prosecutor Dorothy Bain QC asked her: "On 4 July, on that day, police found out the chip shop was closed at that time because there had been a fire.

"You then say 27 June, but I think what you are saying today is that it could be another day altogether?"

Mrs Menzies replied: "It could have been. It is hard it is that long ago."

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 assault or an alternative allegation of culpable and reckless conduct.

The trial, before judge Lord Pentland, continues.

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