Morningside Murder Trial

9 February 2015, 06:00

During Friday's closing speeches, the prosecution urged a jury to convict Robert Buczek of murdering 85 year old Eleanor Whitelaw at her home in Morningside Grove last July.

Alex Prentice QC told a jury at the High Court in Glasgow her killing was a theft which went wrong and Buczek grabbed scissors lying in the hallway and  attacked her.

Mr Prentice told the jury of 10 men and five women that there was a compelling circumstantial case against Buczek.

The QC said: "A man called at the door and spoke to Mrs Whitelaw. Something occurred which made that encounter violent, perhaps she tried to get him out of her house.

"The man picked up a pair of scissors and stabbed her in the neck possibly as many as seven times and that caused her to fall.

"That man then dragged her like a rag doll through her hallway, then he dumped her in a room and left her fighting for her life."

Mr Prentice told the jury that man then wandered round the house looking for items to steal and took stamps and a box containing spoons before leaving the house.

The  prosecutor said: "The man who did all that is Robert Buczek and I ask you to convict him of murder."

He went on: "I don't suggest that when Robert Buczek went to the house he intended to kill. He didn't have a weapon with him. His intention was thef perhaps targeting a vulnerable elederly person.

"Why was it necessary for him to kill, perhaps, we will never know. But the dead never make good eye witnesses."

Mr Prentice told the jury that Buczek DNA was found in the house and he was seen running away by a neighbour who identified him to police.

He said that Buczek  also tried to sell the stamps and when he discovered they were worthless threw them away near where he stayed at Martello Court in Edinburgh.

Mr Prentice said that Buczek was caught because he was "careless."

Defence QC Brian McConnachie told the jury that DNA was "not the golden ticket'  which solved crimes as shown on television and films.

Mr McConnachie said : "The finding of DNA in a place is not evidence the person was ever there."

He described the Crown case as: "Like a cable which is flawed and with the slightest pull flaws will appear."

The defence QC accused the Crown of focussing on the DNA that suited them and ignoring DNA that didn't.

He went on: "There was the DNA of an unknown man on the inner right thigh of this 85-year-old woman when she was exaimined in hospital on July 11, 2014.  

The prosecutor says this could have been a member of medical staff treating her without gloves."

Mr McConnachie added: "She also had three injuries to an area of her  private parts. The learned advocate depute asked a pathologist if these could have been as the result of  a fall.

What kind of fall would you need to have to cause an 85-year-old woman these injuries."

He told the jury: "Unless your are satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt the verdict you return should be a verdict that acquits the accused."

The trial before judge Lord Matthews continues.