The Northern Scot's Arlene Fraser and Nat Fraser files: 2003 – Dick could have saved Arlene from murder
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This story appeared in the Northern Scot, February 7, 2003.
HECTOR Dick could have prevented the murder of Arlene Fraser had he revealed his fears to police before she disappeared in 1998.
Having kept quiet then, he could still have spared her family four and a half years of anguish, wondering what happened to her – but again he chose to remain silent.
These were the claims this week of Arlene's family, who have been forced to watch as Dick (46) told his story to a national newspaper for a rumoured five-figure fee.
The Moray farmer, who saw a murder charge against him dropped when he agreed to give evidence against former friend and co-accused Nat Fraser, was criticised by the family for prolonging their torment.
In the newspaper, Dick repeated his courtroom claim that Fraser (44) confessed to him that he had paid a killer to murder Arlene, and then disposed of the body himself.
However, this time the story was embellished by tales of Dick's friendship with Fraser, and allegations of the convicted killer's sordid extra-marital sex life.
Dick, who was jailed for a year in 2001 for lying to police about a car they believed was involved in Arlene's disappearance, walked free from the High Court in Edinburgh – along with former fruit and veg salesman Glenn Lucas (51), from Lincolnshire – after agreeing to turn Queen's evidence six days into the trial.
While pointing the finger of blame at Fraser for planning his wife's murder, Dick admitted in court that he bought the car for Fraser the night before Arlene vanished, and burned and crushed it a few days later to destroy any forensic evidence.
He claimed that he lied to police out of misplaced loyalty to Fraser, and the fear that his own illegal drink and cigarette boot-legging operation would be uncovered.
Arlene's sister, Carol Gillies, slammed Dick for selling his story and putting the family through further agony.
"We have begged for information over the years, and there have been some dark times when there was no news," she said.
"To think that he was more worried about being caught for his boot-legging is terrible.
"I don't think he could fully appreciate how horrendous this has been for us.
"If you lose a child in a supermarket, you know the panic that sets in – we have been in that state for five years. Nightmares, panic attacks and sometimes scared to go out.
"Hector Dick has watched this and it has not pricked his conscience in the slightest.
"I still feel he is not telling the whole story," she claimed.
Arlene's mother, Mrs Isabelle Thompson, added: "I just wish he had opened his mouth as much in the beginning.
"He could have avoided Arlene being murdered if he had gone in the first place and spoken to someone in authority.
"I don't think he has done himself any favours by running to the press.
"What is he trying to achieve?
"Is he hoping to clear his name?" added Mrs Thompson.
"A lot of what he has said has already come out in the trial, and if they are paying him money for that, he hasn't said very much."
Her main concern has been that Arlene's children, Jamie (15) and Natalie (10), may have read sensationalist headlines of how Dick claimed Fraser disposed of their mother's body.
Mrs Thompson said that other newspaper reports that they were planning to sue Hector Dick were incorrect.
And she revealed that she has written to Jamie and Natalie following their father's conviction last week and subsequent press reports that they had launched a fight for custody.
Although Mrs Thompson said that they were anxious to see more of the children, she insisted that they had not instigated custody proceedings.
"I have no worries about how much they (Fraser's parents, lbbie and Nat) care for Jamie and Natalie. I told Jamie not to worry about anything he had read in the papers about us going for custody.
"We just want what's best for them.
"I didn't mention his father because at the end of the day Nat is still their dad, and they will come to terms with this in their own time.
"We have got to give them time to get over the initial shock," she said.