The Northern Scot's Arlene Fraser and Nat Fraser files: 2011 – Twists and turns that continue in sad Arlene Fraser case
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This story appeared in the Northern Scot, May 27, 2011.
IT IS the sad and mysterious case which has dominated Moray for 13 years and there appears no end to the rollercoaster that is the Arlene Fraser story.
With her husband Nat Fraser winning his appeal to the Supreme Court in London, his conviction and life sentence look set to be quashed.
However, a re-trial is very much on the cards.
There have been many twists and turns in the case over the years.
April 28, 1998 – Arlene, then aged 33, disappears from the family home at 2 Smith Street, New Elgin.
The last people to see her alive are her children Jamie (10) and Natalie (5) as she waved them off to school.
May – Grampian Police chiefs admit they believe they may be dealing with a murder enquiry after revealing her car had been deliberately set on fire three weeks before she went missing.
June – Nat Fraser, who was estranged from his wife, appears before TV cameras to appeal for information into his wife’s disappearance and a reward of £20,000 is posted – half from Nat and half from Arlene’s family.
October - Police launch a fresh appeal for information.
April 1999 – on the first anniversary of her disappearance, police reveal they are following a strong line of enquiry involving a beige Ford Fiesta they believed was involved in her disappearance.
Her family also make another emotional plea for information.
September – Grampian Police carry out a series of raids at addresses in Fife.
February 2001 – Mosstowie farmer Hector Dick admits lying to police investigating Arlene’s disappearance in relation to the car and is jailed for 12 months.
July – Nat Fraser and Hector Dick are charged with murder.
April 2002 – Fresh indictments are served on Nat Fraser, Hector Dick and Glenn Lucas, a friend of Fraser.
January 2003 – The murder trial gets underway at the High Court in Edinburgh.
During the second week the charges against Lucas and Dick are dropped, and Dick becomes a chief prosecution witness.
Nat Fraser is subsequently convicted and ordered to serve a minimum of 25 years in prison.
April - Arlene’s family pay an emotional tribute to her with a memorial service in Elgin.
April 2005 – Glenn Lucas and Scots crime writer Reg McKay publish a controversial book: “Murdered or Missing? The Arlene Fraser Case.
May - Nat Fraser is granted leave to appeal.
May 2006 – Nat Fraser is released from prison on bail pending his appeal, with his defence claiming vital information about Arlene’s rings was withheld from them.
September – Glenn Lucas dies suddenly at his home in Lincolnshire from a heart attack.
November 2007 – Fraser’s appeal begins at the Court of Criminal Appeal.
December – In a surprise move, Nat Fraser is returned to prison at the conclusion of his appeal.
May 2008 – Nat Fraser loses his appeal and returns to prison to serve out his sentence.
2010 – Nat Fraser’s legal team seek leave to appeal to the Supreme Court in London.
March 2011 – His hearing at the Supreme Court is heard.
May – Five Supreme Court judges uphold his appeal and remit the case back to the High Court in Scotland for consideration of a re-trial and to quash his conviction.