THE family of a woman murdered nearly 40 years ago has told her murder trial of the “terrible” and “life-changing” impact of her death.
The bodies of Helen Scott and Christine Eadie, both 17, were discovered on 16 October, 1977, after a night out in Edinburgh during which they visited the World’s End pub.
Giving evidence at the High Court in Livingston today, Helen’s father spoke of his “shy” daughter whom he had seen for the last time the day before her body was discovered.
Morain Scott, 84, said his wife Margaret, who died in 1989, was “never the same” after his daughter’s death.
On Monday, the court was shown pictures of Christine Eadie’s naked body on Gosford beach, where it was found on 16 October. The photographs showed that her hands had been tied behind her back and that she had a gag around her mouth and a ligature around her neck.
Mr Scott said he and his wife had begun to worry when Helen did not return home at her usual time of around 11.30pm on the night of 15 October.
Under questioning from Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland, who is leading the prosecution, Mr Scott said: “I thought she would be home at the normal time – half elevenish – as she always had been. She had not come home. I went up to bed and my wife said she would wait. She stayed up all night. I didn’t really sleep.”
Mr Scott said his wife heard the phone ring between 11.30pm and 12am, but when she went to answer it, it had stopped.
The next day Mr Scott and his wife went to St Leonard’s police station in Edinburgh to report Helen missing at around 3pm.
Later, the couple heard on the radio that a body had been found near Aberlady in East Lothian and then another nearby at Huntington.
Asked by the Lord Advocate about the impact his daughter’s death had on the family, he said: “My wife was never the same.
“As far as I was concerned, it was the start of her health going down.
“I have lived with it for 37 years. I’ve kept it more or less to myself. I just kept going.”
Later the court heard from Ms Scott’s half-sister Margaret Douglas, known as Diana.
Asked about the effect of Ms Scott’s death, Ms Douglas, 62, said it had been “terrible” and “life-changing”.
Ms Douglas and Ms Scott’s other half-sister, Agnes Brattisani, known as Muriel, also told the court that it would be unusual for Helen to be out late and drinking.
Ms Douglas said: “She was outgoing, but she wasn’t going to pubs and clubs and going out every weekend. She was nothing like that.”
Ian Duguid QC, defending, asked: “There may be a suggestion that about a week before [her death] she was in a bar in the company of an older male, drinking. Would that have been rather out of character?”
Ms Douglas replied: “Absolutely.”
The court heard how Ms Scott had been a quiet girl who was working in a tartan shop in Princes Street and was hoping to take up a college place to become a nurse.
Mr Duguid asked Mr Scott if his daughter had visited a pub called the Spider’s Web or a place called the West End Club. He also asked him if his daughter had been in the company of an older man in the week before 15 October, to which Mr Scott replied: “No”.
Mr Duguid said there was evidence to show Helen had consumed ten alcoholic drinks on the night of 15 October. He asked Mr Scott if that would have been out of character, to which he replied: “Most definitely”.
Angus Sinclair, 69, has pleaded not guilty to assaulting, raping and murdering the 17-year-olds between 15 and 16 October 1977 between the World’s End pub in Edinburgh and locations in East Lothian.
Sinclair 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, before judge Lord Matthews, continues.