Tayside and Central Scotland

Couple deny murdering woman and cutting up her body

Image caption Kimberley MacKenzie's body was discovered in Montrose in October 2015

An Angus couple have gone on trial accused of murdering a Montrose woman and cutting up her body.

Steven Jackson, 40, and Michelle Higgins, 29, deny killing 37-year-old Kimberley MacKenzie in October 2015.

They are accused of wrapping parts of Miss MacKenzie's body in bin liners and bags and hiding them in bins in various locations in Montrose.

Her father, Terence MacKenzie, 66, gave evidence on the opening day of the trial at the High Court in Glasgow.

He said he saw his daughter walking in Montrose High Street on 27 October and she had waved to him.

Mr MacKenzie said he became concerned when his daughter did not contact him the following day, and reported her missing to police.

The trial was told that Miss Mackenzie had been in a relationship with Mr Jackson which had ended in August 2015.

Miss Mackenzie's friend Michelle Emslie said that Mr Jackson had then became involved in a relationship with his co-accused.

The jury was told that a week after Ms Emslie last saw her friend, police came to her house and told her they were looking for Miss MacKenzie, who was missing.

'Rotten' smell

Ms Emslie said: "I went to Steve's house the next day.

"I went up to his house and I was banging at the windows."

"I noticed a smell coming from inside the building while I was standing outside the close."

Ms Emslie described the smell as "rotten."

The couple deny murdering Miss MacKenzie by repeatedly striking her on the head, neck and body with a hammer or similar instrument at a flat in Montrose on 27 October last year.

They are also accused of attempting to defeat the ends of justice by dismembering Miss MacKenzie's body using a saw, knives and a screwdriver and wrapping parts of her body in bin liners and bags and hiding them in bins.

It is alleged that Miss MacKenzie's head and other body parts were in a rucksack and suitcase concealed in a shower cubicle at another Montrose property.

The couple are also alleged to have disposed of clothing and footwear worn by Miss Mackenzie and washing their own clothing.

The trial before judge Lady Rae continues.

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