Murder trial old OAP attacked on doorstep

Eleanor Whitelaw lived in Morningside Grove. Pic: Malcolm McCurrach
Eleanor Whitelaw lived in Morningside Grove. Pic: Malcolm McCurrach
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A FORENSIC scientist told a murder trial that 85-year-old Eleanor Whitelaw was attacked on her Edinburgh doorstep and then dragged inside badly injured.

Amanda Pirie, 42, was giving evidence at the trial of 24-year-old Robert Buczek who denies murdering Mrs Whitelaw.

Buczek is accused of assaulting Mrs Whitelaw by striking her repeatedly on the neck and body with a pair of scissors or similar instrument and inflicting blunt force trauma on her head and body by means unknown to the prosecutor at her home in Morningside Grove on July 11, 2014.

She died in Edinburgh Royal Infirmary on July 28, last year.

Buczek also denies robbing Mrs Whitelaw of stamps, a box containing spoons, two cameras and jewellery.

The jury, of 10 men and five women, was shown photographs of the interior of the Victorian villa in Morningside where Mrs Whitelaw lived with her husband Robert.

Prosecutor Alex Prentice told the court that Mr Whitelaw went out to a shop in the afternoon and returned to find his wife lying badly injured in the morning room off the kitchen.

Mrs Pirie went to the house on various occasions between July 11 and 14 to carry out forensic tests.

She told the court there was a lot of blood at the doorway and drag marks in blood leading from there to the morning room.

Mrs Pirie also examined the bathroom of the house upstairs and found what she described as “a potential footwear mark in blood”.

The jury was shown a close up photograph of this mark which was discovered in front of the bath.

Mrs Pirie added that she found drawers and cupboards open which suggested that someone had been going through them looking for something.

She told the jury: “In my opinion the scientific findings are consistent with Eleanor Whitelaw having been assaulting and having sustained a severe bleeding injury to her neck and having bled profusely in the hallway and then been dragged along the hallway to where she was found by her husband.”

Mrs Pirie added: “Someone had opened doors of cupboards in the house with gloved hands and had touched items.

“Someone had also stepped into wet blood and walked upstairs and into the bathroom.”

The court was told in a joint minute of agreement that a pair of Nike air max training shoes were seized from Buczek’s home at Martello Court, Pennywell Gardens, on July 26, last year.

The jury also heard that a black box containing spoons belonging to Mr Whitelaw were found in the ground of Martello Court and that Mrs Whitelaw died as a result of complications of the injuries she suffered, with the injury to the neck being the most significant.

The trial before Lord Matthews continues.