Fraser was 'usual joking self'
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MURDER accused Nat Fraser was his usual joking self on the day his wife disappeared 14 years ago - never to be seen again.
Fruit and veg wholesaler Fraser (53), claims he was making his usual deliveries to shops, restaurants and hotels in the Elgin area that day - April 28, 1998.
At the High Court in Edinburgh today retired butcher Ronald McDonald recalled the deliveries made to his shop in Elgin's Lossie Wynd.
"He was always light-hearted, joking with the staff and very sociable," said Mr McDonald.
Fraser combined the delivery to his shop and the nearby Rowantree Restaurant with his breakfast break, sometimes staying for about an hour, he said.
Defence QC John Scott asked Mr McDonald about the delivery that day.
"I saw nothing different," said the former butcher. "as far as I can recall, just his usual banter."
Another witness, Sandra Stewart (64), who ran the Rowantree Restaurant then, earlier told the trial that Fraser appeared agitated and his hands were shaking that day.
The trial also heard today of a possible sighting of a beige Ford Fiesta which police thought might be the key to the mystery.
Industrial cleaner Robert Rose (59), of Elgin said he came forward after police appealed for information about the vehicle.
He told them he had been painting a front bedroom at the Mosstowie home of farmer Hector Dick when he looked up to see a car matching that description driving into a field, followed by a green lorry.
He said he didn't know who was driving the car but it was not Mr Dick or his brother, Jimmy.
He could not rule out the possibility that it was Fraser. He did not know him then, but had seen a TV appeal when Fraser was asking for information about his wife.
Mr Rose gave a statement to police in December 1998 and told them he thought the sighting had been about six months earlier.
Fraser has lodged papers in court claiming Hector Dick (56), could be the real killer.
The farmer has told the trial he bought the Fiesta on Fraser's orders the day before mum-of-two Arlene disappeared. When it turned up again on his farm he set fire to it with diesel.
Mr Dick claims he delivered the flattened burned out wreck to a local scrap dealer on May 4 - a claim disputed by those working at the yard who pointed out that that date was a public holiday and they were closed.
Fraser 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 7.30am 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....