There was nothing different or unusual about a man accused of murder when he made a delivery on the day his wife vanished, a court has heard.
Nat Fraser was giving his "usual banter" and nothing about that day 14 years ago seemed out of the ordinary, the High Court in Edinburgh was told.
The 53-year-old fruit and vegetable wholesaler denies acting with others to murder his estranged wife Arlene, 33, who disappeared from her home in New Elgin, Moray, on April 28, 1998.
He pleads incrimination and alibi, saying he left the place where he was staying at about 7.30am that day and spent the time making deliveries to shops and hotels in the area.
Retired butcher Ronald McDonald, 71, told the trial he had a shop in Elgin in 1998 and Fraser would deliver produce to him on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, always between 8am and 9am.
He said Fraser made his usual delivery to him on Tuesday April 28 that year, accompanied by an employee.
Defence QC John Scott asked: "Was it in any way different than the normal?"
"I saw nothing different," the witness replied.
"Nothing at all out of the ordinary, so far as that day was concerned?" questioned Mr Scott. The witness replied that there was not.
Asked how Fraser seemed that day, Mr McDonald replied: "As far as I can recollect, just his usual banter."
The witness said he would have remembered if Fraser had been different in any way, and probably would have told police.
Mr Scott went on: "At that point in 1998 you'd known Nat Fraser for many, many years. You got to know him through his mother and father. If there was anything at all different or unusual about him that day, would you have expected through knowing him for several years to have noticed it?"
Mr McDonald replied: "I would have, yes."
"Was there anything like that?" asked the lawyer.
"No," said Mr McDonald.
The court is now hearing witnesses being called by the defence, after the Crown closed its case yesterday.
Fraser denies attacking wife Arlene, 33, between April 28 and May 7, 1998 at the home they once shared in Smith Street, New Elgin, or elsewhere in Scotland.
He has lodged the special defence of alibi and incrimination.
The trial continues.
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