Man denies murdering Emma Faulds and hiding body in forest

Prosecutors allege Ross Willox, 41, killed Emma Faulds, 39, at Fairfield Park in Monkton, Ayrshire, in 2019.

Man denies murdering Emma Faulds and hiding body in forest Police Scotland

A man has gone on trial accused of murdering a woman and hiding her body in woodland.

Prosecutors allege Ross Willox, 41, killed 39-year-old youth worker, Emma Faulds, at Fairfield Park in Monkton, Ayrshire, during April 2019.

The prison officer is also accused of later dumping her body in Glentrool forest in Dumfries and Galloway.

The High Court in Glasgow heard how Ms Fauld’s mum, Margaret Faulds, reported her daughter missing after being unable to contact her for days.

The 70-year-old said she and her husband, Ian Faulds, contacted authorities on April 30, 2019, before a massive police search began.

The body of Ms Faulds was discovered by a police search team more than six weeks later on June 12.

Mrs Faulds said her daughter had dinner at her parents’ home on April 25, 2019, and told them she was going to see Willox on Sunday.

She told the court the pair became friends when they both worked at Kilmarnock Prison as warders.

Mrs Faulds said her daughter was going to see a rescue dog Willox had just acquired.

She told prosecutor, Paul Kearney, she became worried after Ms Faulds, who she described as “always having a phone on the end of her hand” had not been in touch with friends or family for a couple of days.

She said: “We were concerned because it was totally out of character. She was in touch every day. My husband and I knew something was wrong.”

Mrs Faulds told the jury that on April 30, 2019, she and her husband were visiting relatives in Brighton when she received a call from her daughter’s employers at Kibble School in Paisley saying she had not turned up for work.

Mrs Faulds said she tried to contact Ms Faulds without success and discovered she also had not been in touch with other family or friends.

Later on April 30, 2019, Mrs Faulds and her husband went into Brighton police station and reported her missing.

Under cross-examination by defence QC Donald Findlay, Ian Faulds was asked why he and his wife had decided to report her missing and said: “We were on edge and decided to report her missing because it was so unlike her.”

The court heard that on May 10, 2019, Willox appeared in court charged with Emma’s murder – although no body had yet been found.

Mr Kearney asked Mrs Faulds: “Were you told a body had been found on June 12, 2019,” and she tearfully replied: “Yes. I was.”

She added that she was taken to the site where the body was found and said: “It was very remote. No one would walk there or drive there. You would have to see it to believe how remote it was.”

Mrs Faulds sobbed as the jury was shown CCTV footage of her daughter walking her Westie Maverick at 3.32pm on April 26, 2019, and in Home Bargains in Kilmarnock on April 28, 2019, at 4.36pm.

Willox, is also charged with attempting to defeat the ends of justice by hiding Ms Faulds’ body for days before dumping it in a forest and attempting a cover up of his alleged involvement in her death between April 28 and May 8, 2019.

Prosecutors allege he disposed of Ms Faulds’ mobile phone, clothing and belongings and carried out an online search about blood and how to remove vehicle tracking.

Willox is also said to have repeatedly left voicemails on his alleged victim’s phone “pretending that he believed she was alive” and he quizzed officers about her whereabouts claiming he was “worried”.

He is also accused of being concerned in the supply of cocaine.

Willox denies all the charges against him.

The trial before judge Lord Mulholland continues.

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