HECTOR Dick tried to hang himself within 24 hours of being accused of Arlene Fraser’s murder.
The High Court heard how he was nearing the end of a jail term imposed for lying about a key piece of evidence - a Ford Fiesta police believed had played a part in the 33-year-old mum’s murder.
He was taken from his cell in Porterfield Prison, Inverness, to be questioned at Elgin police station.
During the interviews on June 19, 2001, Mr Dick was urged to "make a clean breast of it" and was detained in connection with the murder.
He maintained his right to silence and told the officers he had no wish to be questioned.
After returning to his cell, Mr Dick of Mosstowie, near Elgin, attempted suicide, leaving a goodbye note for his wife.
Defence QC John Scott suggested that might have been a chance to "set the record straight" and blame the man he believed to be guilty.
"I was not thinking about Nat, I was thinking about myself," Mr Dick said.
"You would die with the world thinking Hector Dick had lied about the car," said Mr Scott. "Then he got detained for the murder and the next day he hangs himself.
"You can understand why some people might look at that and think it was a sign of a guilty conscience."
Mr Dick acknowledged: "It was pointed out to me."
Added Mr Scott: "Within 24 hours or so of being detained for murder, you tried to take your own life?"
"Yes," agreed Mr Dick.
The trial also heard that during one interview with police Mr Dick wrote on a piece of paper: "Nat got rid of his wife" - then ate it.
"It was a bit of a laugh," Mr Dick told the trial. "It was the truth, yes, but it was a bit of a laugh."
Nat Fraser denied murdering his wife and has accused Hector Dick of possibly being the murder.
The trial continues...