Ex-prison officer accused of killing Emma Faulds denied bail

Ross Willox is alleged to have murdered the 39-year-old before dumping her body in a forest in Dumfries and Galloway.

A former prison officer accused of murdering 39-year-old Emma Faulds has failed in a bid to be released on bail.

Ross Willox, 40, was due to go on trial in June but that will not happen now because of the coronavirus pandemic.

He is alleged to have killed Ms Faulds, from Kilmarnock, and hidden her body at his home at Fairfield Park, Monkton, Ayrshire, before dumping it in Glentrool Forest in Dumfries and Galloway.

Solicitor advocate Alan Gravelle argued at the High Court in Glasgow on Thursday that Willox, who has spent almost a year on remand awaiting trial, should be granted bail.

Mr Gravelle said: “The impact of coronavirus is the primary reason for the trial being discharged from the trial diet on June 1 and there is uncertainty over when it will take place. It may be several months before jury trials will be resumed.”

Willox was not in court but participated through a video link from prison.

Gravelle said there was no risk with Willox being granted bail and said special conditions could be put in force.

He added: “He was formerly employed by (the) Scottish Prison Service and does not hold a passport. He has been held in custody for almost 12 months.

“A person should not be held in prison for longer than necessary where that person is presumed innocent.”

Prosecutor Paul Kearney said: “Here we have serious charges of murder and attempting to defeat the ends of justice.”

Judge Lady Stacey told Granville: “I am not prepared to grant bail. The application for bail is refused.”

A further preliminary hearing was fixed for June.

Willox denies murdering Ms Faulds and attempting to cover up her death over a ten-day period between April 28 and May 8, 2019.