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Rape and murder accused: Two teen girls consented to sex as 'they never said no'

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Undated photo issued by Crown Office of Angus Sinclair from 1977, as the prosecution in the trial of Sinclair who was accused of murdering two teenage girls 37 years ago has closed its case. Photo: Crown Office/PA Wire

Undated photo issued by Crown Office of Angus Sinclair from 1977, as the prosecution in the trial of Sinclair who was accused of murdering two teenage girls 37 years ago has closed its case. Photo: Crown Office/PA Wire

PA

Undated photo issued by Crown Office of Angus Sinclair from 1977, as the prosecution in the trial of Sinclair who was accused of murdering two teenage girls 37 years ago has closed its case. Photo: Crown Office/PA Wire

A man accused of raping and murdering two teenage girls 37 years ago said they consented to sex as "they never said no", a court has heard.

Angus Sinclair, 69, has been giving evidence at the High Court in Livingston, where he denies attacking Christine Eadie and her friend Helen Scott.

The 17-year-olds were last seen at Edinburgh's World's End pub on October 15 1977.

Christine's body was found the following afternoon at Gosford Bay, Aberlady in East Lothian, while Helen's body was discovered a few hours later in a wheat field near Haddington.

Sinclair is on trial at the court accused of carrying out the attacks along with his brother-in-law Gordon Hamilton, who died in 1996.

He started giving evidence yesterday, telling jurors he and Hamilton met the girls in the pub before leaving with them in his caravanette after offering them a lift home.

He told the court he drove to the city's Holyrood Park area where both men had consensual sexual intercourse with each girl.

During questioning from Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland today, he was asked how the sexual intercourse started.

He said he began by "kissing and fondling" Christine, and it was the same with Helen.

Mr Mulholland asked him: "How did you know these girls were consenting to sexual intercourse?"

He replied: "They never said no."

Mr Mulhollland later asked him: "Mr Sinclair, did you rape these two girls?"

He replied: "No."

Mr Mulhollland asked: "Did you see any fear in their eyes?"

Sinclair replied: "No, none."

Sinclair denies the charges against him and has submitted three special defences of incrimination - blaming Hamilton; 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.

Mr Mulholland put it to Sinclair that he had been out looking for two girls and that he "hit the jackpot" in the World's End.

Sinclair agreed.

"They were under your control weren't they?" Mr Mulholland asked.

"Yes," he replied.

"They didn't consent did they, they were terrified, you raped those girls?"

"No, I didn't," Sinclair said.

"Not content with that, you took them out to East Lothian. You knew they were terrified. You're enjoying the fact they are terrified. You have raped them, they are under your control?" the Lord Advocate asked.

Sinclair replied: "No."

"What you do is make sure they have no voice whatsoever, that they can't tell the police what happened? " Mr Mulholland asked him.

"No," he said.

Mr Mulholland then suggested Sinclair "punched" and "kicked" them, to which he disagreed.

"That's animalistic Mr Sinclair, you did that with Gordon Hamilton," the lawyer said

"No, I didn't," Sinclair replied.

"Those girls, were they not pleading for their lives, begging you 'don't do this, don't kill me'?"

"No," Sinclair said.

Mr Mulholland added: "You and Gordon Hamilton ended their lives like something that was wiped off your shoe, is that not what happened?"

"No, definitely not," Sinclair said.

"This 'Gordon Hamilton did it all' is just a cock and bull story, is that not the case?"

Sinclair replied: "No."

Mr Mulholland finished his questioning by putting it to him: "I began by asking you to look into your soul, look into your conscience, begin to atone for what you did, begin to accept responsibility for what you did to these girls. I will give you one final opportunity Mr Sinclair, will you accept responsibility for raping those girls?"

"No," Sinclair replied.

"For murdering those girls?" Mr Mulholland asked.

"Definitely not," Sinclair said.

Defence QC Ian Duguid then asked Sinclair during his re-examination if it was possible he could have been talking to the girls in the World's End for 25 minutes, rather than five or 10 minutes.

"Could have been," Sinclair said.

He also asked Sinclair why he agreed when the Lord Advocate asked him earlier in his evidence that sex "wasn't on the mind of both girls".

"I don't really know," Sinclair said.

"What is the answer to his suggestion that there was no chat up lines, no wooing, as he put it yesterday?" Mr Duguid asked.

"There was," Sinclair replied.

The court later heard from forensic scientist Terence Randall, 66, who co-authored a defence report after looking at the work carried out at the Cellark laboratory.

The jury has already heard evidence from forensic scientists Geraldine and Andrew Davidson, who work with the Chorley-based company.

Ms Davidson talked the jury through DNA samples taken from items of clothing that were used as ligatures and told the court analysis of one of these - the belt from Helen's raincoat that was found around her wrists - suggested the two girls may have still been together when the ligature was tied.

But in the report prepared by Mr Randall, it said this conclusion was "misguided" and he told the court today there was "ample" opportunity for DNA to be transferred between them over the course of the evening when they were together.

A joint minute was then read to the jury where it was agreed that Gordon Hamilton was a "physically fit man" who was into martial arts.

Judge Lord Matthews then told the jury they had heard all the evidence in the case and the Lord Advocate would be ready to make an address tomorrow morning, followed by Mr Duguid.

Sinclair denies the charges against him and the trial continues.

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