Man to face court over Elaine Doyle’s 1986 death

The High Court in Glasgow. Picture: PA
The High Court in Glasgow. Picture: PA
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Prosecutors are to press ahead with a case against the man accused of murdering schoolgirl Elaine Doyle more than 28 years ago.

Elaine, 16, died on her way home from a disco in Greenock on 1 June, 1986. Her body was found the next day in a lane off Ardgowan Street, less than 50 yards from her home.

John Docherty, 49, from the town, was arrested last March and appeared at Greenock Sheriff Court charged with Elaine’s murder. He made no plea during the private hearing.

The case was passed to the Crown Office and the Cold Case Review Unit, and this is the first case to go to court following an investigation by the unit, which was set up in 2011.

Docherty is now due to appear at the High Court in Glasgow next month.

Elaine was last seen alive by two friends in Hamilton Way after she left the disco in the town’s Laird Street.

Police launched a fresh appeal over her death in 2011 and detectives set up Operation Evergreen in Greenock to look into her murder. The high-profile appeal included a reconstruction on BBC’s Crimewatch programme.

Police obtained DNA samples from a number of men living abroad who were believed to have been in Renfrewshire around the time of Elaine’s death.