Tayside and Central Scotland

I'm no killer, Montrose murder accused tells jury

Montrose death

A woman accused of murdering and dismembering mother-of-three Kimberley MacKenzie in Montrose has told jurors she is not a killer.

Michelle Higgins, 29, said her co-accused and former partner Steven Jackson, 40, killed Miss MacKenzie and sawed her body into 12 pieces.

They both deny murdering the 37-year-old in Montrose on 27 October 2015.

Ms Higgins told a trial that she helped drag Miss MacKenzie's body into the bath where she was dismembered.

She told prosecutor Ashley Edwards QC that she held open black bin bags while Mr Jackson dropped body parts into them and also helped to dispose of the parts.

Ms Edwards said to Ms Higgins: "You had a knife and Steven Jackson had a knife."

She replied: "I've never stabbed anyone in my life."

'It is lies'

The prosecutor said: "One of you have a hammer and one had the large paint scraper.

Ms Higgins replied: "That's not true. It is lies."

Ms Edwards said: "That is why you never went to the police. You and Steven Jackson killed her together,"

Ms Higgins said: "I did not kill her. I did not dismember her."

Asked why she had not called for an ambulance for Miss Mackenzie, she replied: "Because I had someone who was deranged beside me who could kill me. I froze."

Ms Higgins agreed that she had later sent Mr Jackson a text telling him she loved him.

Hammer on legs

The prosecutor said Mr Jackson sent a text to Ms Higgins saying: "I need help got some bits chopped off xx" and she replied "mink lol.'"

Ms Edwards asked Ms Higgins what "mink" meant and she replied: "Somebody that is disgusting."

Defence QC Donald Findlay, representing Mr Jackson, said to Ms Higgins that she had told a police officer that she hit Miss MacKenzie with a hammer on the legs.

Ms Higgins said she could not remember the policeman or any conversation.

Mr Findlay asked: "Why did you go and buy a saw?"

She replied: "Because Steven asked me to, because I was already sucked into this nightmare."

Mr Findlay asked her why she had displayed no emotion when shown her daughter's rucksack, which she had used to transport one of Ms MacKenzie's body parts.

She said she had lots of emotions and added: "You don't see any of it."

The QC suggested that she had killed Ms MacKenzie out of jealousy - and that her co-accused had no such motive.

She replied: "It's a made-up motive. It is rubbish."

She also denied carrying out a "character assassination" on her co-accused.

Mr Jackson, and Ms Higgins, are accused of murdering Ms MacKenzie by repeatedly striking her on the head, neck and body with a hammer or similar instrument at 40a Market Street, Montrose, on 27 October last year.

They are also accused of attempting to defeat the ends of justice by dismembering her body using a saw, knives and a screwdriver and wrapping parts of her body in bin liners and bags and hiding them in bins at 40 Market Street, 73 William Phillips Drive and two other sites in Montrose between 27 October and 4 November, 2015.

The trial before judge Lady Rae continues.

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