The Northern Scot's Arlene Fraser and Nat Fraser files: 2007 – PC feared being branded a grass
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This story appeared in the Northern Scot, November 16, 2007.
A POLICE officer feared her career would be over and she would be branded a “grass” if she revealed evidence which could help convicted killer Nat Fraser in his appeal, the appeal court heard.
Constable Julie Clark broke down in tears and claimed she had been told not to tell anyone she had seen Arlene Fraser’s rings in her house immediately after her disappearance.
Constable Clark had gone to the house in New Elgin with Constable Neil Lynch on the night Arlene was reported missing on April 28, 1998.
There, both officers had seen wedding, engagement and eternity rings in the bathroom along with other jewellery, it is claimed.
Fraser was convicted of murder after the Crown prosecutors convinced a jury the rings had only turned up in the bathroom nine days after Arlene disappeared, and could only have been put there by Fraser.
The court has heard that the chief prosecutor was unaware of the police evidence about the rings.
Both constables Clark and Lynch were interviewed in 2006 as part of a joint police and procurator fiscal inquiry into the Fraser case.
Evidence was led at the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh on Wednesday from a statement given by Sharon Ralph, the now procurator fiscal for Elgin.
She had described a conversation she had had with Constable Clark shortly before the day the policewoman was to be interviewed by detectives as part of the inquiry.
Reading from the statement, defence QC Peter Gray said the policewoman had “suddenly and unexpectedly” broken down when Mrs Ralph asked her about the case last year.
Reading from Mrs Ralph’s statement, Mr Gray told the court: “(Constable Clark) said its really terrible, I’m going to be branded a grass. I have no-one to talk to, my career is over”.
Constable Clark then told Mrs Ralph she had seen the rings in the Fraser house on April 28 or 29 and had told other officers.
The policewoman said she had been told not to tell anyone about it, but would not say by whom.
Mr Gray said the account was the most convincing evidence that Constable Clark was a reliable and credible witness who was telling the truth about having seen the rings.
“This is a lady who was in a very clear and obvious state of distress and fear,” he said.
The defence QC also said inquiry detectives had tried to get Constable Lynch to change his statement and told him he must have been wrong about seeing the rings.
Mr Gray said neither Mrs Ralph’s statement nor the detective’s account of the conversation with Constable Lynch had featured in the inquiry report.
“That, in my submission, is nothing short of misleading,” said Mr Gray. The appeal continues."