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RENEE AND ANDREW MACRAE: William MacDowell 'only joking' about starting new life with lover

By Ali Morrison

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The High Court in Inverness.
The High Court in Inverness.

The High Court in Inverness has heard details of statements made by the murder accused during police interviews.

This afternoon Detective Chief Inspector Geddes read out four different statements given by MacDowell within a week of the disappearance of Renee and Andrew MacRae on November 12, 1976.

On the morning of Monday, November 15, he told police: "I deny any association with Mrs MacRae."

The detective told the jury: "That would hinder the police if he did have information."

Later the same day MacDowell was interviewed again to admit becoming involved with Mrs MacRae.

Renee MacRae.
Renee MacRae.

He went into detail about how he had sex with her sometimes twice a week at various rural and other locations around Inverness.

"We spoke of going away to Shetland and Rannoch Lodge but I was only joking," he said.

In a further statement, on November 18, 1976 MacDowell again said he and Mrs MacRae had talked about going away for the weekend on the Friday or Saturday previous "but there was nothing definite."

Then he told police "an arrangement was made to meet her about 5pm to 6pm near her house. But I could not because of my work. I did not keep the appointment."

In the same statement, MacDowell continued: "I always had to lie to her. If she had her way, it would be every weekend. That is why I kept telling her lies – leading her on."

In a fourth statement, on November 19, MacDowell by that time had been sacked from his job working for Mrs MacRae's husband Gordon.

Mrs MacRae's son Andrew.
Mrs MacRae's son Andrew.

He told police: "I had arranged to pick up her suitcase on the Thursday, November 11. But I had no intention of picking it up. I had made up my mind on the Monday."

He added: "It has been suggested I was going to leave my wife and go to Shetland. This is not true. I never applied for a job there. I had no intention of going to Shetland."

The trial continues.

View our fact sheet on court reporting here

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