Arlene detective denies bootleg link

A FORMER senior detective has admitted “blowing his top” when rings belonging to Arlene Fraser were found in her home more than a week after she had gone missing.

Alan Smith, 51, said he had been surprised, confused and concerned on learning that a member of Mrs Fraser’s family had seen the engagement, wedding and eternity rings in the bathroom of the house in New Elgin, Moray, which had earlier been searched by the police.

“It did not make any sense… I blew my top out of frustration,” Mr Smith told a jury.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

He dismissed a link between Mrs Fraser’s role in a bootlegging operation and her disappearance.

Mr Smith, 51, was second-in-command in the Grampian Police investigation and he said that both Mrs Fraser and her estranged husband, Nat Fraser, were found to have been involved in the sale of illicit drink.

He said the couple operated at a fairly low level, while the main person involved was a friend, Hector Dick.

The defence-solicitor advocate, John Scott, QC, asked Mr Smith if one line of investigation had been that Mrs Fraser’s disappearance was connected to the bootlegging.

“It was a line of inquiry but no more than that. For me, it was not a significant part of the investigation,” he said.

Nat Fraser, 53, denies acting with others to murder his wife. He pleads alibi and incrimination, blaming Mr Dick and another or others if she was killed.

The trial continues.