Emma Faulds murder accused may still go on trial

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Emma Faulds
Image caption,
Emma Faulds was last seen six weeks before her body was found

The man accused of murdering Emma Faulds may still go on trial in June despite a ban on jury trials because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Ross Willox is accused of killing the 39-year-old youth worker at his house in Monkton, South Ayrshire, on 28 April.

Mr Willox also faces an allegation of attempting to defeat the ends of justice. He denies all charges.

Judge Lady Stacey told him she was willing to continue proceedings.

She told the High Court in Glasgow that in the "very unusual circumstances" she was prepared to have a continued preliminary hearing on April 24 "to discover whether it is likely the trial can start".

Solicitor advocate Alan Gravelle, representing Mr Willox, said: "The continued preliminary hearing will assist the court to ascertain whether the trial diet can remain as it is."

Prosecutor Paul Kearney told the court that at present the government guidelines are that trials set down for June will go ahead.

However he added: "We are not at a stage where the trial cannot proceed. I do understand this is a developing situation where advice from government could change."

Charge list

The charge lists 19 incidents said to have occurred between the day of the alleged murder and 8 May.

Prosecutors state Mr Willox hid Ms Faulds' body at the house in Monkton before disposing of it at the end of a "remote forestry track".

The location is said to be at Glentrool Forest in Dumfries and Galloway.

Mr Willox allegedly covered the body with soil, moss and vegetation.

Image source, PA Media
Image caption,
Police sealed off an area of a forest in Dumfries and Galloway after Ms Faulds' body was found

The charge states he also got rid of Ms Faulds' mobile phone, clothes and other belongings.

Mr Willox allegedly took her car from the Monkton property to her home in Kilmarnock, East Ayrshire, and cleaned any evidence that he had been in it.

He is also said to have bought a number of items including bleach, rubber gloves, disinfectant and waterproof trousers.

It is further claimed Mr Willox then led other people to think he believed Ms Faulds was not dead.

He is said to have told police he had been with Ms Faulds and her dog at her home, and that she was there when he left on the morning of 29 April - the day after the alleged murder.

Mr Willox is also said to have left voicemails on Ms Faulds' phone "pretending that he believed her still to be alive".