Witness spoke of ‘bizarre’ noises on night man died

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THE trial of an man charged with an Edinburgh murder has heard evidence from a woman who died before the case got to court.

Catherine Nicholson, 47, died of lung cancer earlier this year, but was able to tell police of “bizarre” noises she heard on the night 45-year-old Alan Ross was killed in Pilton before her death.

David Nairne, 26, from Viewforth, denies the murder charge. At his trial at the High Court in Livingston yesterday a police officer told how he spoke to Ms Nicholson shortly after the incident in February. She lived above the flat on Pilton Drive North, and kept a noise log because of previous issues. She told police that there had been “strange behaviour” and heard noises of a “sexual” nature. She recalled hearing a loud bang as if someone had been thrown against a wall, the court heard, and then repeated banging before the door slammed shut. At that point smoke filled the stairway and she called 999.

Nairne also pleads not guilty to attempting to defeat the ends of justice by setting fire to the dead man’s clothing, making an explosive device by putting household chemicals in a microwave and disposing of evidence, including two knives. He further denies head- butting Mr Ross in Mathers Bar, Edinburgh, seven months before the killing.

The charred body of Mr Ross, 45, who was openly gay, was found in his flat by firemen. The trial continues.