Tayside and Central Scotland

Jury urged to convict couple of 'sustained and brutal' murder

Montrose death

A prosecutor has urged a jury to convict a couple of the "sustained and brutal" murder of a Montrose mother-of-three.

Steven Jackson and Michelle Higgins deny killing and dismembering Kimberley MacKenzie in October last year.

Ashley Edwards QC told a jury in her closing speech that the couple had committed an act of "depravity".

Defence QC Donald Findlay, representing Mr Jackson, said the Crown had not proved the charge against his client.

Ms Higgins defence QC, Mark Stewart, said his client had admitted helping Mr Jackson with the disposal of the body parts, but denied having anything to do with the murder or dismemberment.

Ms Edwards told the jury at the High Court in Glasgow: "It does not seem to be disputed that both accused took part in dismembering and disposing of the body.

"Who but the murderers would dismember a body, who but the murderers would carry out an act of such depravity?

"Each accused says the other did it. They are both right - they both did it.

"The evidence shows a murderous attack with multiple weapons. This was a sustained and brutal attack perpetrated by both accused."

Mr Findlay said in his closing speech: "Steven Jackson has not challenged that he played a part in the dismembering and decapitation of Kimberley MacKenzie and the dumping of her body parts in various places.

"Does that mean he is a murderer? The answer to that is no, no, no and no again."

Mr Stewart said: "The question is who did attack Kimberley MacKenzie?

"It was Steven Jackson. He admitted it not just once.

"He admitted it to Barbara Whyte his ex-wife and to the police.

"Mr Findlay said there is no motive. Perhaps there is no motive, perhaps he's just bad.

"If Steven Jackson had not committed murder why would he say he had?"

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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