Margaret Fleming’s carer ‘didn’t want police in home’

Edward Cairney and Avril Jones allegedly murdered Ms Fleming in Inverkip, Inverclyde.

Margaret Fleming: The 38-year-old was allegedly murdered. <strong>STV</strong>
Margaret Fleming: The 38-year-old was allegedly murdered. STV

A carer allegedly involved in the murder of a missing woman did not want police in his home when they turned up, a trial has heard.

Edward Cairney told the officers to “get the f*** out” after they arrived to speak to him at the house in Inverkip, Inverclyde, in October 2016.

The 77-year-old and Avril Jones, 59, had become carers for Margaret Fleming after her father died.

Margaret, who would now be 38, has allegedly not been seen for more than 19 years.

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Jurors heard how police asked during the meeting for a recent photo of Margaret but were told she “did not like her picture taken”.

The evidence was heard at the pair’s trial at the High Court in Glasgow on Monday.

They deny murdering Margaret at the house in Seacroft, Inverkip, between December 18, 1999, and January 5, 2000.

Sergeant Neil Martin called at the property on October 28, 2016, after a colleague was “quite concerned something was not right”.

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This was in connection with the claiming of benefits.

DS Martin recalled: “On entering, I spoke to Mr Cairney who became very irate and told us to ‘get the f*** out of his house’.”

Jones was also there, but was said to have allowed Cairney to “do most of the talking”.

The detective told how they were trying to find out if Margaret was staying at the house.

DS Martin added: “Avril Jones made us aware there was a birth certificate and a bank book from 1997.”

Prosecutor Iain McSporran QC asked the officer: “This was 2016… anything more recent offered to you?”

He replied: “We did highlight that was a number of years ago… but nothing was offered whatsoever.

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“We were told that Margaret kept her belongings with her at all times and did not like her picture taken.”

The detective added he found the duo to be “very evasive”.

Police were shown a bedroom that Cairney said was Margaret’s.

But, on being quizzed about Margaret again, Cairney allegedly swore once more and told them to leave.

Cairney and Jones also deny defrauding £182,000 in benefits and attempting to defeat the ends of justice by claiming Margaret was alive.

The trial was halted early due to Cairney’s ill health.

His QC Thomas Ross told jurors the OAP had fallen out of his wheelchair on Sunday.

He added: “I recommended that he be assessed by a medic.”


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