Jurors told to ignore all previous speculation as World's End murder trial begins
JURORS were today told to ignore anything they have heard about the so-called World’s End murders as the trial of the man accused of the double killing got under way.
Christine Eadie and Helen Scott were found dead in October 1977, the morning after they visited the World’s End pub on the Royal Mile.
Angus Sinclair, 62, is charged with raping and murdering the 17-year-olds and stealing their handbags and clothes.
The charges were read out by trial judge Lord Clarke to a jury selected at the High Court in Edinburgh today.
He warned the jury of nine women and six men to “comply strictly” with his instructions to concentrate solely on the evidence they hear in court.
He said: “The various charges are alleged to have been committed almost 30 years ago and that makes it an unusual situation.
“It has been referred to over the years as the World’s End murders and I understand the incidents may have attracted publicity in the past both in the press and the media generally – not just at the time of the incidents in question but from time to time over the years since then.”
Sinclair is accused of acting alongside his brother-in-law Gordon Hamilton, who is now dead, of persuading or compelling the girls into a motor vehicle and holding them against their will.
He is alleged to have driven Christine Eadie to Gosford Bay, Aberlady, and there or elsewhere she was attacked, stripped and gagged with her underwear.
He is accused of tying her wrists and neck, raping her, and killing her by restricting her breathing.
Sinclair is accused of raping and murdering Helen Scott in the same way, and driving her to a road near Haddington, and in a field there or elsewhere in Edinburgh and East Lothian attacking her.
Lord Clarke told the jury that Sinclair, who sat in the dock wearing a black and white tracksuit top and jeans, and who was flanked by two security guards, was going to issue a special defence that any sexual contact with the girls was consensual.
The judge also told them that the accused may put forward evidence blaming his late brother-in-law for any wrongdoing.
The first witness, Jacqueline Inglis, a 47-year-old nursing auxiliary, confirmed her name, age and occupation.
The trial is due to resume tomorrow morning.
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