Fraser said children would forget Arlene
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NAT Fraser said his children would soon forget their mum as family members waited desperately for news of his missing wife.
"The bairns will soon forget their mother," he told Arlene’s dad, Hector McInnes.
Retired aircraft fitter Mr McInnes (71), now of Bonnyrigg, Midlothian, recalled the conversation of 14 years ago at the High Court in Edinburgh today.
The murder trial - now in its fourth week - heard of the "terrible atmosphere" between Arlene’s estranged husband and other members of the family.
Mr McInnes said when police rigged up a tape recorder in her home in Smith Steet, New Elgin, they didn’t tell her estranged husband.
And things got so bad that police arranged for a second liaison officer to speak to Fraser, so that he did not have to share the same contact as other relatives.
Worried members of the family gathered in the Fraser family home after Arlene (33), vanished on April 28, 1998, hoping for news.
Fruit and veg wholesaler Nat - who was living at another address after splitting from Arlene weeks earlier - came in through the patio doors, sat down at the kitchen table, and began talking to Mr McInnes.
"I believe he was a wee bit agitated," said Mr McInnes. "He probably mentioned that something was going to cost him a sum of money - I thought he said £5,000.
"Then he said ‘The bairns will soon forget their mother."
Defence QC John Scott agreed it was a wholly inappropriate remark, but said Fraser had a knack of saying the wrong thing at the wrong time.
Mr McInnes complained that Fraser seemed to follow him everywhere, even shadowing him to the bathroom.
He said he visited the bathroom on the afternoon of May 7, just before going to pick up five-year-old Natalie from school.
Fraser also went into the bathroom immediately afterwards.
Mr McInnes said he came back from the school, about 30 minutes later.
"There was a bit of a commotion going on. Cathy had found the three rings."
Catherine McInnes, Hector’s wife, has already told the trial how Arlene’s engagement ring, wedding ring and eternity ring mysteriously appeared, nine days after her disappearance.
Nat Fraser (53), denies attacking wife 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 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 7.30a. and spent the day making van deliveries to hotels, restaurants and shops - pausing to make a phone call just after 9am.
Fraser also claims that if mum-of-two Arlene was murdered, as prosecutors claim, the man responsible could be Hector Dick of Mosstowie, Elgin.
The jury has heard that there had been an earlier trial in 2003 when Hector Dick had been one of three men accused of murdering Arlene, but had left the dock and given evidence for the prosecution.
Another man on trial then, Glenn Lucas, was now dead. The third man was Fraser.
The trial continues........