A MAN accused of murdering an 85-year-old woman at her home told a court yesterday that he had nothing to do with the killing.
Robert Buczek, a Polish national, addressing the High Court in Glasgow through an interpreter, said: “I’ve never in my life hurt a woman.”
Buczek denies murdering Eleanor Whitelaw at her home in Morningside, Edinburgh, last July by stabbing her in the neck with scissors and stealing stamps and a box of spoons.
Mrs Whitelaw was found lying on the floor covered in blood by her husband of 60 years when he returned from shopping just after 4pm on 11 July. Forensic experts who examined the house found DNA matching Buczek’s on the bloodstained scissors and a bottle of water.
Buczek, who came to Edinburgh two years ago looking for work, was asked by defence QC Brian McConnachie: “Did you go to Morningside Grove and attack Mrs Whitelaw?”
He replied: “No. I never went to that house. I was never there.”
He admitted working as a labourer in a house just round the corner in Craiglea Place and said he went there on 11 July around 1pm and stayed for about 30 minutes before leaving. He told the court he was there to collect wages he was owed.
Buczek told the jury he had “no idea” how his DNA was found on the scissors and bottle.
Mr McConnachie said: “It may be suggested one explanation is that you held the scissors while you stabbed Mrs Whitelaw.”
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Buczek replied: “No. Never in my life.
“I’ve never been there in my life and I never attacked that woman in her house.”
The defence QC then said: “It could be suggested that you are very unlucky.”
Buczek said: “That would be correct.”
He was then asked: “Did you have anything at all to do with the death of this lady?”
Buzcek: “No, I never had anything to do with it and I’m very sorry that lady has gone.”
He was asked where he had been between 3pm and 4:30pm on the day in question and said: “I was either at home or in the West End.”
When prosecutor Alex Prentice QC asked Buczek how his DNA came to be on the scissors, he said: “I’m not able to explain that.”
Mr Prentice said: “One explanation could be you used the scissors to kill Mrs Whitelaw, do you agree?” Buczek replied: “No, it wasn’t me.
The prosecutor then told Buczek that the person who did this must look like him as he had been identified by a witness who was sitting in her garden when he ran past.
He told Buczek: “You went to Morningside Grove, you entered the house and attacked Mrs Whitelaw. You stabbed her several times, you picked up the scissors and stabbed her, you stole stamps and spoons and ran away.”
Buczek replied: “I have never done anything like that. I was never in her house.”
Mr Prentice finally asked Buczek: “Why did you have to kill her?” He said: “I don’t see any reason why I would have killed her.
“Never in my life would I have done anything like that. It would have been stupid to kill a woman for a few stamps.”
The trial before Judge Lord Matthews continues.