JURORS in the trial of a man accused of murdering two teenage girls have visited the spots where their bodies were found 37 years ago.
The panel of nine women and six men saw the separate locations in East Lothian where the bodies of Helen Scott and Christine Eadie were discovered in 1977.
Yesterday’s visit was part of a wider journey to the area, which took in seven sites linked to the case.
It took place on the eighth day of the trial of Angus Sinclair, 69.
He denies raping and murdering the girls, both 17, who were last seen at Edinburgh’s World’s End pub on 15 October 1977.
Christine’s body was found the following afternoon at Gosford Bay, Aberlady, while Helen’s body was discovered a few hours later in a wheat field near Haddington.
The court has heard they had been bound and strangled.
The trial is being held at the High Court in Livingston, West Lothian, but yesterday’s visit saw the whole court moved outdoors and about an hour away from its usual location.
The 15 members of the jury were taken to and from the court in a coach.
Others involved in the case – including judge Lord Matthews, prosecutor Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland and defence QC Ian Duguid – travelled in a convoy of vehicles. Sinclair was taken to each of the seven stops and, throughout, remained in the car.
The spot where Christine’s body was found was the first of the two “deposition” sites to be viewed by the jury.
Jurors spent about ten minutes at Gosford Bay. They were later taken further inland to the field on the Huntington-Coates road where Helen’s body was discovered. Again, they spent around ten minutes at the spot.
Other locations involved in the day-long visit included three car parks at Longniddry Bents, the St Germain railway level crossing and a hairpin bend.
The visit took place at the request of the jurors, who wanted to see certain specific sites for themselves.
Lord Matthews told the men and women that they would be able to take notes on the visit but must not carry out their own investigations at the sites.
He added that the route taken by the bus to the different areas was of no particular significance.
Sinclair is accused of repeatedly punching and kicking Christine on the head and body, or otherwise inflicting blunt force injuries on her, and biting her.
He is also charged with forcing Helen to walk barefooted into a field, repeatedly punching and kicking her on the head and body and stamping on her head.
It is alleged he bound their wrists and tied a ligature around their necks.
Sinclair denies the charges against him and has submitted three special defences of incrimination – blaming his brother-in-law Gordon Hamilton, now dead; alibi – saying he was fishing on the banks of the Firth of Forth near Cockenzie power station at the time; and consent to sexual intercourse.
The trial continues today.