THE MUM of Arlene Fraser almost broke down as she told the court that the body of her daughter had never been found.
Isabelle Thompson hurriedly left the witness box at the High Court in Edinburgh after she told of her grief that Hector Dick had never revealed where Arlene’s body was.
Mr Dick had said nothing, either during an earlier trial or when he sold his story to a tabloid newspaper afterwards, provoking complaints from the family.
Finally, advocate depute Alex Prentice, prosecuting, asked Mrs Thompson (66), of Motherwell: "Has Arlene’s body ever been found? How do you feel about that?"
Mrs Thompson told him: "Not very good. You don’t expect to have to bury your own daughter ..." and her voice tailed off as she left the court after giving evidence over two days.
Nat Fraser (53), whose 11-year marriage to 33-year-old mum of two Arlene was crumbling when she disappeared in April, 1998 denies murder.
Defence QC John Scott, questioning Mrs Thompson, suggested her son in law had a poor sense of humour - shown when he made a joke about a child’s plastic moustache.
"It was a very poor, poor attempt at a joke," said the lawyer.
"You had known Nat Fraser for a number of years. Did you know him to have a poor sense of humour in that way?
"He was someone given to cracking wholly inappropriate jokes, saying the wrong thing at the wrong time, because I take it when he said that it caused you great upset.
"Arlene was still missing and he should have been behaving differently."
Mrs Thompson was also questioned about personal possessions of Arlene’s which had been found in her home in Smith Street, Elgin, even after police had searched the house.
Mrs Thompson said she pointed out where her daughter’s passport was kept, as officers were looking for it.
Days later, a blue denim shirt and a watch were handed over.
She said she could not remember when Arlene’s rings had been found, or where she (Mrs Thompson) was at the time.
Mrs Thompson had given a statement to police in April 2006 about the discovery, the trial heard.
She told them: "Actually I didn’t think there was any importance or significance placed on Arlene’s rings until the run-up to the trial which is why I don’t recollect it as a major thing to happen."
The trial before judge Lord Bracadale continues.