Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Murdered woman's son Ross Taggart was 'her blue-eyed boy'

Carol Anne Taggart Image copyright Police
Image caption Carol Anne Taggart was reported missing by her son

A man accused of murdering his mother and concealing her body under a caravan in Fife was "her blue-eyed boy", a court has heard.

Ross Taggart, 31, denies murdering Carol Anne Taggart between 21 December last year and 11 January this year.

He is alleged to have repeatedly struck her on the head "by means unknown" and compressed her throat.

He is then alleged to have hidden her body under a caravan in Pettycur Bay, Kinghorn.

Mr Taggart is accused of attempting to defeat the ends of justice between 21 December and 14 January this year.

A jury was told in agreed evidence that following a post mortem the cause of death was given as "compression of the neck".

'Difficult times'

Ms Bristow's daughter Lorraine, 27, told the High Court in Edinburgh her mother had two sons, Ross and Daniel, from a previous relationship.

She said her mother was not always an easy person to get along with and she had had difficult times with her.

Advocate depute Iain McSporran asked if her mother had a favourite child and the dance teacher said: "Yes, her blue-eyed boy Ross."

Lorraine Bristow said her mother was "quite frail" but added her brother was "a big boy" who she thought was 6ft 6in tall.

Jurors heard at about 17:30 on 22 December, Mr Taggart bought a return train ticket at a Dunfermline station and travelled to Edinburgh.

While in the city, he had a meal at the Filling Station in Rose Street and then went to the cinema.

The train ticket, meal and cinema ticket were bought using a credit card in the name of his mother.

Image caption Carol Anne Taggart's body was found at the Pettycur caravan site in Kinghorn, where she owned a caravan

She said on 23 December her husband was contacted by her brother Ross. She said she could hear what her brother was saying on the phone.

"I could hear him saying mum was missing. They had an argument and she stormed out the house. It was during the night she had left," she said.

The prosecutor asked if her brother said anything about where she might be or efforts to find her. She replied: "No, he wasn't that upset either."

Ms Bristow said: "My mum wouldn't storm out her own house. I have had many arguments, she would tell you to leave."

She said she kept phoning her mobile but it went to answering machine. She said her mother would have taken her bag and her phone if she had left.

She told the court: "I started to know something was wrong.

"I had texted my brother Ross every day to see if he had any update. I would get one word answers back."

'Golden boy'

Her father Shaun Taggart, 52, who was the former partner of her mother, was asked if Carol Anne had a favourite child. He said: "Ross was the golden boy pretty much from the get-go. It was always the case."

Mr Taggart is alleged that he hid the body of his mother in a void beneath Caravan 2, Wallace Heights at Pettycur Bay and tidied, cleaned, removed and attempted to remove blood staining and other forensic evidence from 3 Hill of St Margaret and Caravan 4 and the boot of a car.

He is also charged with removing bedding from 3 Hill of St Margaret, where his mother had lived, and Caravan 4.

He is also alleged to have reported her to the police as a missing person and repeatedly stated to friends, family and associates enquiring about her and to officers investigating her disappearance that on 22 December she had left her home address of her own accord and that he was unaware of her whereabouts.

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