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The Northern Scot's Arlene Fraser and Nat Fraser files: 2003 – Nat Fraser's visit to library

By Features Reporter

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This story appeared in the Northern Scot, January 31, 2003.

This story appeared in the Northern Scot, January 31, 2003...Picture: Northern Scot
This story appeared in the Northern Scot, January 31, 2003...Picture: Northern Scot

A VISIT to Elgin Library was nothing more sinister than to browse through some books on family law, Nat Fraser told the court.

Fraser had been accused by Hector Dick of carrying out research into the number of people who go missing each year, and criminal cases that arise from that.

Mr Dick had claimed Fraser told him that 10,000 people went missing each year, but there had only been two cases in Scotland of a murder conviction without a body.

However, tackled by Advocate Depute Alan Turnbull QC, prosecuting, Fraser denied the charge.

"You admit you told Mr Dick that you were at the library to look at some law books?" asked Mr Turnbull.

Fraser said he had a browse through the books "because I like to look into things."

Mr Paul McBride QC, defending, asked Fraser: "Do you know details of any cases of Scottish murders where the bodies have not been recovered?"

"No. I just looked at the family law books," said Fraser.

Visit to farm

NAT Fraser admitted visiting Hector Dick's farm the night before his wife disappeared – but denied his presence was connected to the car the police believed was involved in Arlene's abduction and murder.

When the police learned about the car six months after Arlene disappeared, Mr Fraser was interviewed.

He admitted that on November 15, 1998, he initially failed to tell them that he had been at the farm; however, the following day he informed them that he had been there.

Fraser denied asking Mr Dick to buy the car, and said he believed the car was to be used for Mr Dick's illegal bootlegging operations.

"How could you conceivably have any difficulty in remembering what you did on the last evening of your old life?" said Mr Turnbull.

"I couldn't really remember what I had done that night. It was just a normal night," Fraser said.

Hector Dick recalled

NAT Fraser's defence lawyer, Mr Paul McBride QC, in his bid to discredit the evidence given by the prosecution's star witness Hector Dick recalled him to the stand.

Mr McBride questioned him about a meeting with police officers at Porterfield Prison in Inverness on October 5, 1999.

Mr Dick, who was on remand at the time, had requested a meeting with officers over his concerns about the threat of Customs and Excise officials investigating his illegal bootlegging.

However, it was an alleged remark by Mr Dick which Mr McBride focused on.

"Did you say to the police: 'I know what you are after; the car is 70 per cent gettable and the body 50 per cent'?" he asked him.

"No", replied Mr Dick.

Under questioning by Mr Alan Turnbull QC, prosecuting, Mr Dick said he did not make any reference about percentages to the officers, and it was only in subsequent discussions with his solicitor several days later that the question arose.

A "volatile" marriage

NAT Fraser told the High Court in Edinburgh last Friday of his love for the wife he was accused of murdering, and his difficult years since her disappearance.

At the start of his evidence in his own defence, Fraser was asked by his lawyer, Paul McBride QC: ""Did you kill your wife?"

"No sir," replied Fraser.

He also denied arranging for anyone else to kill her or being involved in her disappearance in any way.

Fraser, was now facing an altered indictment accusing him of murdering Arlene – along with unknown accomplices – knowing that she had seen a solicitor about getting a divorce and financial settlement from her husband.

Asked if his 1987 marriage was a happy one, he said: "It was quite stormy at times."

But, he said, he still wanted Arlene back when they split in 1998, shortly before she disappeared.

The court heard that Arlene had walked out on Fraser before, staying in a women's refuge on one occasion and seeing a solicitor about a divorce.

Fraser said he thought his wife was a good mother to their two children and she was not short of money.

He paid the bills and gave her £100 a week as an allowance.

But, he told the court, Arlene could be "volatile" and he agreed that he could be too.

He told how they would fall out, fall back in again and he knew that in 1998 Arlene had seen a solicitor about divorce – again – which the Crown claim is a motive for murder.

"I just thought it was another fall out," he said.

"I hoped it would blow over again".

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