The Northern Scot's Arlene Fraser and Nat Fraser files: 2012 – Nat Fraser points finger as murder trial gets underway
Easier access to your trusted, local news. Subscribe to a digital package and support local news publishing.
This story appeared in the Northern Scot, April 27, 2012.
NAT Fraser has pointed the finger of blame at former friend Hector Dick in the alleged murder of his wife.
Mr Dick (56) took to the witness box yesterday (Thursday), as The Northern Scot went to press, in Fraser’s murder trial at the High Court in Edinburgh.
Fraser claims that if mother-of-two Arlene was murdered, as prosecutors claim, the man responsible could be Hector Dick, of Mosstowie, near Elgin.
The court had heard that at an earlier trial in 2003, Hector Dick was one of three men accused of murdering Arlene Fraser, but he had left the dock and given evidence for the prosecution.
Giving fresh evidence yesterday, the Mosstowie farmer claimed that Fraser wanted to cheat his estranged wife, Arlene, by disposing of his valuable whisky collection.
He recalled conversations with the fruit and vegetable wholesaler about the possible costs of a divorce from Arlene.
Mr Dick said that his friend had put the possible cost of a split at £86,000.
He told Advocate Depute Alex Prentice QC, prosecuting: “He was trying to limit the damage at that time, and he offered me his whisky collection at a knock-down price.”
Mr Dick said he reckoned the collection was worth £10,000, but Fraser wanted to sell it for as little as £2,000, on condition that he could buy it back at a later date for the same amount.
Mr Dick said he would not have got anything out of the deal, so he declined.
The farmer, of Wester Hillside Farm, claimed that Fraser was thinking of other schemes.
“He was trying to kid everybody on that he still had a mortgage, but he was mortgage-free.
“He was trying to get something past her. I think he was trying to arrange a mortgage. There was some dodge.”
Fraser (53) had also offered to sell the house to his friend, but Mr Dick turned him down.
Mr Dick inherited the farm at Mosstowie, along with his brother, in 1968.
At first it was a mixed farm with livestock and vegetables, but in 1996 it was “mothballed” for financial reasons.
Fields were rented out to neighbours, and Mr Dick diversified into delivering coal and skip hire.
He said he first knew Fraser because he bought potatoes from him.
They became friends, and Fraser was best man when Hector Dick married wife Irene in 1996.
Arlene, who had married Fraser nine years earlier, was also at the wedding.
Mr Dick said he liked her a lot.
“She was different, but yes, a nice person.”
After the split from Arlene, Mr Dick said Fraser was “quite hard-headed towards it. He was not going to be beaten”.
“He didn’t want anybody else involved in the upbringing of his children if there was to be a separation, i.e. if Arlene found somebody else.”
The farmer also told how, after Fraser’s black Ford Granada had been damaged in a fire, he (Mr Dick) had suggested that Arlene might need a car for her and the children.
“No, the bitch can walk,” Fraser had replied, according to Mr Dick.
The court also heard that Mr Dick allegedly supplied Arlene with bootleg booze.
When the Smith Street house was searched in the aftermath of Arlene’s disappearance in 1998, bottles of vodka were found at the bottom of a wardrobe.
Arlene’s friend, Michelle, said they matched the bottles of “bootleg booze” which she sometimes bought from Arlene, and which Ms Scott believed came from Mr Dick.
Earlier in the week, Arlene’s mother, Isabelle Thompson, told the court of her sadness at being unable to bury her daughter.
She said that Fraser had worn a fake moustache and joked about his wife’s disappearance.
Fraser denies attacking Arlene (33) between April 28 and May 7, 1998 at the home they once shared in Smith Street, New Elgin, or elsewhere in Scotland.
It is alleged that he strangled her or murdered her “by other means to the prosecutor unknown.”
The indictment against Fraser says that he knew Arlene had seen a solicitor about divorcing him and getting a cash pay-off.
Fraser has lodged papers in court, claiming that 14 years ago, on April 28, he left the address in Burnside Road, Lhanbryde, where he was staying, at about 7.30am, and spent the day making van deliveries to hotels, restaurants and shops, pausing to make a phone call just after 9am."