The Northern Scot's Arlene Fraser and Nat Fraser files: 2003 – Verdict helps ease family's pain
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This story appeared in the Northern Scot, January 31, 2003.
ARLENE Fraser's tearful sister said: "truth and justice" would help them heal the emotional scars left by her killer Nat Fraser.
The family were in court to see Arlene's husband led away to begin his life sentence for murder.
Arlene' s mum Mrs Isabelle Thompson and step-mum Mrs Cath Mcinnes broke down in tears in the courtroom as the verdict was announced.
The family later spoke of their sadness but also delight that Fraser had finally been convicted of the horrific murder.
"I feel overwhelmed with sadness at the realisation of what has happened," said Arlene's sister Carol Gillies, her voice wavering with emotion.
"We have sat in the court and heard some terrible things. We were forewarned it wouldn't be pleasant but I wanted to be in court to hear Hector Dick's version of events and see Nat's reaction," she said.
"I couldn't stomach any more of Nat's lies. The sentence and the guilty verdict were the truth."
The family have been living a nightmare since Arlene vanished and with Fraser now behind bars they will try to rebuild their shattered lives.
Their initial hope in the first few days following her disappearance that Arlene would turn up safe and well, gave way to the realisation that she wasn't coming back and something terrible had happened to her.
Mrs Gillies said their thoughts now were with Arlene's children Jamie (15) and Natalie (10).
"It was so unnecessary. He has ruined our lives, Jamie and Natalie 's lives and his own life," she said.
"I never doubted we would get to this stage. What has kept me going was the hope that we would get justice for Arlene and somewhere nearer the truth."
Mrs Gillies ( 40) admitted the 25-year sentence imposed on Fraser had come as a shock to her, adding: ""The enormity of the crime has really hit me."
Fraser was branded "evil" by Lord Mackay as he passed sentence and Mrs Gillies said she could think of no other word to describe his actions.
She said Fraser had always come over as a plausible character who had carried off the act so well over the years.
"When he was sentenced and he was wobbling in the dock I thought: 'That is Nat finally breaking'," she added.
Arlene has never been found and Mrs Gillies said: "I believe there is no body to be found but at least we won' t have to sit and wait for news anymore."
Mrs Thompson (58) said: "I am feeling dumbstruck. It has been a hard four weeks and it was a terrible afternoon waiting for the verdict.
"I don't think he will ever get out of jail and he doesn't deserve to."
Grampian Police Assistant Chief Constable Pat Shearer told the press conference: "Our thoughts today are with Arlene, a woman whose life was brutally cut short in her prime, and her family.
"They will remain in our thoughts for many years to come.
"We hope that today's verdict will in some way help Arlene's family close a traumatic chapter and they can begin to rebuild their lives."