Police officer tells Ross Taggart murder trial of caravan body find
A policewoman who helped search for a missing woman told a murder trial she found a body after a hatch underneath a Fife caravan was opened.
Pc Ruth Goldie said she spotted a tied up bundle while searching a cavity beneath a caravan close to one owned by Carol Anne Taggart.
Mrs Taggart's son Ross denies murdering her between 21 December last year and 11 January this year.
He is alleged to have struck her on the head and compressed her throat.
Pc Goldie, a police search advisor, said she was investigating the caravan site in Pettycur Bay, Kinghorn, on 11 January as part of a missing person inquiry.
When she lifted a hatch beneath a caravan two along from the one owned by Mrs Taggart she saw "a bundle of material" and was unsure what she was looking at.
She told the High Court in Edinburgh it was dense to the touch and she looked at the shape and made out what appeared to be the shape of a head, torso and a pair of legs.
The officer said: "The bundle was tied with a green chord in a crisscross pattern."
Ross Taggart, 31, is alleged to have assaulted his mother and repeatedly struck her on the head "by means unknown", seized hold of her neck and compressed her throat using his hands or an unidentified item.
The jury was told in agreed evidence that following a post-mortem examination the cause of death was given as "compression of the neck".
It is alleged Mr Taggart hid the body of his mother in a void beneath the caravan at Pettycur Bay. It is claimed he cleaned the caravan, his mother's house at Hill of St Margaret and the boot of a car to remove blood stains and other forensic evidence.
He is also alleged to have reported his mother as missing to the police and told friends, family and police officers that she had left home on 22 December of her own accord and that he was unaware of her whereabouts.
He denies the charges and the trial continues.