Edinburgh OAP on trial in Canada accused of murder

Police continue their search for the body of Lise Fredette. Picture: Contributed
Police continue their search for the body of Lise Fredette. Picture: Contributed
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A PENSIONER who emigrated from the Capital has gone on trial in Canada accused of murdering his ex-girlfriend and hiding her body.

Andrew Watson, 78, was arrested by detectives probing the disappearance of Lise Fredette, whose body has never been found.

Prosecutors told jurors at the Peterborough Superior Court of Justice in Ontario that Watson was a “jilted and controlling” ex-boyfriend and he had killed 74-year-old Miss Fredette as the “final act of harassing her”.

Watson, originally from Edinburgh, was arrested ten days after Fredette was last seen leaving her job at Walmart on November 12, 2014.

Her glasses and keys were found next to her car at home and there was blood in her driveway.

Detectives searched a number of areas using dogs, heat-seeking equipment, divers and a ground-penetrating radar but have found no trace of the pensioner, who was declared dead days after she went missing.

The court heard that Watson and Fredette met at a dance in 2011 and dated on and off for a few years before their relationship ended for good in April 2014.

Fredette started dating another man a few months later but prosecutors allege Watson would sit outside her home and bombard her with letters.

In one letter read to jurors, Watson wrote: “I’m very worried about you going to bed at 1am.

“I keep wondering how you can have sex with someone you don’t love. Perhaps you should sit down and consider how you’re going to pay for this lifestyle.”

Fredette contacted police about Watson’s behaviour in September 2014 and again in November 2014 just days before she went missing.

Her daughter Natalie Leclerc said she was aware that Watson, who is believed to have emigrated in the 1960s, was harassing her mother and watching her.

She told the court her mother had gone to Watson’s house to ask him again to leave her alone and saw a piece of paper where Watson had recorded her whereabouts. She said: “My mom told me she could see him from her place.

“We want to find my mom and put her to rest – we know she’s dead.”

Giving evidence, Fredette’s friend Catherine Lockwood said: “He was controlling and possessive.

“I told her I felt he was stalking her and that she should tell her kids. He wasn’t stopping.”

The court also heard DNA testing revealed the two pools of blood in the driveway belonged to Fredette and one on the pavement was Watson’s.

The jury also heard police searched Watson’s basement – finding a shovel sitting in a bucket filled with liquid believed to be bleach. A mixture of Fredette’s and Watson’s blood was on the handle and Fredette’s blood was on the metal.

Watson denies charges of first-degree murder and criminal harassment. The trial continues.