Murder accused Ross Willox gave two different accounts of how missing 39-year-old Emma Faulds left his home, her sister told a jury.
Willox first claimed Emma drove home herself and then later said that he had driven home with her and left her there.
Emma’s sister Sarah Faulds, 39, a project manager from London, was giving evidence at the trial of 41-year-old Willox who denies murdering Emma at his home in Fairfield Park, Monkton, Ayrshire, on April 28, 2019.
The High Court in Glasgow heard that Emma, who was never without her phone, was reported missing on Tuesday, April 30, 2019 after she had not been in touch with family and friends since Sunday evening.
That night she had been visiting Willox, a friend she met when they both worked together at Kilmarnock Prison. She had taken her Westie Maverick with her.
Ms Faulds told prosecutor Paul Kearney that she texted Willox on April 30. 2019 saying “Hi Ross, I’m just wondering if she’s still with you. No one’s seen her.’
Willox said Emma was not with him and Ms Faulds texted back asking when she left.
He texted saying: “Sunday. Maverick was getting rowdy with my dog Paddy and Emma was getting stressed.”
In a later text Willox said that Emma had driven home.
Ms Faulds told the court that he phoned her later in the day after police had spoken to him and said: “He said the police had asked him some questions and had there been any news.
Mr Kearney asked her: “Did he say where he had last seen Emma. Did he say he had gone back to Emma’s flat with her and left her there,” and the witness replied: “Yes, he said it was in the evening at some point and he didn’t stay long.”
Defence QC Donald Findlay asked Ms Faulds why there was no mention of that phone call in her police statement.
She said: “I did talk to the police about it when I gave my statement. I don’t know why it’s not there.”
When asked why she had not noticed the omission when she read over the statement given in May 2019 and replied: “I was more concerned about finding where my sister was.”
She described herself as being in a very emotional state.
Beauty therapist Emma Jones, 32, a friend of Emma’s, told the jurors she was worried after getting no reply from her phone and walked round to her home.
She was there around 4.30pm on April 30, 2019 when police broke in and found Maverick home alone.
Ms Jones said that they let her into the flat.
She was asked if anything was out of place and said: “Emma was very particular. She had OCD. Her overnight bag was on a sofa and her keys were on the dining table.”
Ms Jones said that Emma would never have left the flat in that state. She added: “She had a ledge at the front door where she put her keys and she would always unpack everything. She would have tidied it all away.”
Earlier William Beattie, 49, from Kilmarnock, a self employed glazier, told the court he drove a drug dealer friend to a house in Monkton, Ayrshire, after he received a text from Emma Faulds around 11.30pm asking for cocaine.
He said: “Emma texted the address and postcode. We go there around 12 to 1am on April 29, 2019.”
The witness was asked if Emma came out of the house and replied: “No, it was a large chap with a coat on.”
Mr Beattie said as they reversed away from the house he saw Emma.
He said: “She was sitting on the couch. I waved and she waved back.”
Defence QC Donald Findlay said to Mr Beattie: “Cocaine had been delivered to the house in Monkton and Emma Faulds was alive and well and perfectly alright from what you could see,” and he replied: “Yes, that’s correct.”
The jury has heard that Emma’s body was found lying in a hollow in Glentrool Forest, Dumfriesshire, covered in rotting vegetation on June 12, 2019.
Willox denies all the charges against him.
The trial before judge Lord Mulholland continues.