Knots in tights used to bind a teenage girl killed 37 years ago contained DNA linked to a murder accused, a court has heard.
Photographs of a ligature found around the wrists of Christine Eadie were shown to the jury yesterday during the trial of Angus Sinclair, who denies murdering and raping her and her friend Helen Scott.
Both 17-year-olds were last seen at the World’s End pub in Edinburgh on 15 October, 1977.
Miss Eadie’s body was found the following afternoon at Gosford Bay in Aberlady, East Lothian, while Miss Scott’s body was discovered a few hours later in a field near Haddington.
Three knots in a section of tights taken from Miss Eadie’s wrists were tied on top of each other and examined by forensic scientist Geraldine Davidson.
She said the knots had been tightly bound and formed a “closed surface”. They were “systemically untied” and samples taken at every freshly exposed area.
DNA analysis found components of Sinclair’s profile matched parts of an incomplete mixed profile detected, meaning they were “unable to exclude” him as a source, jurors heard.
Parts of the profile of Gordon Hamilton, Sinclair’s brother-in-law, were also found.
Sinclair, 69, is accused of carrying out the attacks along with Hamilton, who is now dead. He denies the charges.
Ms Davidson said: “As these samples have been recovered from areas which were preserved within knots and tied cut ends, this is fitting with DNA having been present at the time the ligature was tied.
“Had Angus Sinclair and/or Gordon Hamilton used the above ligature to bind or strangle Christine Eadie, then we would expect to detect their DNA on the surfaces of this ligature.”
She also said knot-tying was “not a two-person activity” and that DNA could have been left through secondary transfer.
The court further heard about a torn pair of tights and a bra around Miss Eadie’s neck.
Ms Davidson said part of the strap which had been used in the knotted section was analysed for DNA. She said components of Sinclair’s and Hamilton’s DNA had been found and experts said they could not be excluded as contributors.
Sinclair has submitted three special defences: incrimination – blaming his brother-in-law; alibi – saying he was fishing on the Firth of Forth near Cockenzie power station at the time; and consent to sexual intercourse.
Jurors have heard Sinclair’s version of events in a defence report read out to the court, which said that he and his brother-in-law both had consensual sex with the girls in a caravanette at Holyrood Park.
The report added: “Angus Sinclair claims that Gordon Hamilton then drove him back to East Lothian as he wanted to continue fishing and that when he left, the girls were alive and unharmed.”
The trial continues.