Longford man on trial for murder

A Longford man accused of raping and murdering a mother-of-three was asked by her sister if he was “some kind of a pervert”, a court heard on Monday.

A Longford man accused of raping and murdering a mother-of-three was asked by her sister if he was “some kind of a pervert”, a court heard on Monday.

Michelle Rodger said Patrick Rae was talking to her at a club in Dundee with her sister Mary McLaren. The body of Mrs McLaren, from Dundee, was found almost two weeks after the night out in the city last year.

Patrick Rae, 41, denies that between 25 February and 10 March last year at North Marketgait and elsewhere in Dundee, he sexually assaulted and raped Mrs McLaren, of Rowantree Crescent, Linlathen, Dundee, and murdered her. It is alleged he punched her on the head and banged her head on the ground and against a wall, struck her on the neck with a knife, and seized and compressed her throat.

Rae submitted special defences of consent and alibi - that she willingly engaged in any sex acts with him and that he was not there when she was killed.

He further pleads not guilty to a charge of attempting to defeat the ends of justice. He is said to have concealed the body under leaves and foliage, and to have disposed of Mrs McLaren’s coat and bag, and a knife

In her evidence Mrs McLaren’s sister Miss Rodger told the High Court in Edinburgh that Rae approached the pair as their night at Fat Sam’s club in Dundee drew to a close.

She said: “It was weird stuff, ‘You will die with my sex.’ He wasn’t making any sense.” The 27-year-old told jurors at the High Court in Edinburgh that she responded to Rae’s statements by asking: “Are you some kind of a pervert?”

She was shown CCTV footage taken inside and outside the nightclub in South Ward Road, Dundee, on February 24, last year into the early hours of the following morning.

She said she and her 34-year-old sister left the club on two occasions with Mrs McLaren returning to retrieve her coat.

On Friday the woman gave evidence about meeting Mr Rae in the nightclub.

“We felt sorry for him...he was a nice chap at first. Near the end of the night I got not sure of him,” said Ms Rodger.

She alleged that Rae had told her he “gave good sex” and that she should leave her sister and go with him. She had refused. She had heard her sister tell him: “I don’t mind dancing with you. We can have a laugh but not a laugh in the way you are thinking. Don’t try any funny business.”

As the women left the club, added Ms Rodger, Rae was there, and she was frightened and threw paper she had in her hand at him. It hit a police officer and she was arrested.

“I shouted, ‘It was meant for him. He was hassling us...he said, ‘You are going to die after sex.’ That man is wanting to have sex with us and do bad things to us.’ My sister tried to pull me away and said it was an accident,” continued Ms Rodger.

Her sister had been warned to back off, or be arrested. Ms Rodger was taken away in a police van, and the police told her they had put her sister in a taxi home.

The High Court in Edinburgh has heard that Mrs McLaren never returned home that night and her body was found two weeks later hidden in undergrowth.

The trial of Mr Rae began last Wednesday when evidence was given by the police officer who found Mrs McLaren’s body. The specially-trained police search officer described how he noticed a strip of ivy had been rolled off a wall and placed on the ground at Dundee’s North Marketgait.

“It was like a quilt, like it had been carefully placed. I lifted it...and found a pair of feet. I knew right away there was a body,” said Sergeant Scott Finlayson.

The trial is continuing.