The man accused of murdering Emma Caldwell in one of Scotland’s most high profile unsolved deaths is facing charges against a further 27 women.
Iain Packer has been charged with more than 40 other offences, including 11 rapes, over a 26-year period.
The body of Emma, a sex worker in Glasgow, was discovered in woods near Biggar, South Lanarkshire after she disappeared in April 2005.
The unsolved case was reopened in 2015 following consideration by senior lawyers in the Crown Office and tireless campaigning by her mother, Margaret Caldwell.
Packer, who entered a not guilty plea through his lawyer at the High Court in Edinburgh, was arrested in February this year and will now stand trial in January 2024 following a preliminary hearing in his absence.
He also faces charges of “indecent and libidinous practices” towards a girl aged between 14 and 15 among a raft of other sexual offences.
He is further accused of assaulting three men between February 2008 and October 2011 and punching a 15-year-old boy in the head at one point between June 1992 and June 1993.
Packer’s trial is expected to last 11 weeks, according to a timetable set out by Lord Beckett.