Tayside and Central Scotland

Man and woman face murder charge over body found in Montrose flat

Montrose crime scene
Image caption Ms MacKenzie's body was found at a flat in Montrose last October

Two people are to stand trial charged with murdering a woman and chopping up her body.

Steven Jackson, 40, and Michelle Higgins, 28, are accused of killing Kimberley MacKenzie at a flat in Montrose, Angus, last October.

Prosecutors claim Ms MacKenzie, 37, was struck with a hammer, machete and knife or similar items.

Mr Jackson and Ms Higgins also face an allegation of attempting to defeat the ends of justice.

It is claimed Ms MacKenzie's body was dismembered using a saw, knives and a screwdriver or similar instruments.

Parts of the corpse are said to have been wrapped in bin liners and bags and hidden in bins at a number of addresses in Montrose.

It is further alleged Ms MacKenzie's head and other body parts were put inside a rucksack and case and concealed in a shower cubicle.

Walls, floors and other surfaces of the alleged murder scene are said to have been cleaned.

Image caption It is alleged that the flat was cleaned and clothes disposed of after Ms MacKenzie died

Caustic soda and bleach are also alleged to have been poured into a bath, and clothes and footwear are said to have been disposed of.

The charge claims this was all done "with intent to avoid detection, arrest and prosecution".

Jackson is further charged with two separate drugs accusations as well as having a machete in a public place.

Ms Higgins faces a similar allegation of having a knife.

The pair appeared for a short hearing at the High Court in Glasgow.

Mr Jackson's QC Donald Findlay and Ms Higgins' lawyer Mark Stewart QC each pleaded not guilty on their behalf.

Judge Lady Scott set a trial due to take place in September in Edinburgh.

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