The Northern Scot's Arlene Fraser and Nat Fraser files: 2003 – Greed drove Fraser to kill
This story appeared in the Northern Scot, January 31, 2003.
GREEDY Nat Fraser killed the mother of his children for the sake of money, claimed Advocate Depute Alan Turnbull.
He challenged Fraser to come clean and accept responsibility for his actions as he rounded on the 44-year-old Elgin businessman at the High Court in Edinburgh on Monday.
Mr Turnbull QC, prosecuting, said: "You have taken from your own children the life of their mother, all for greed and a wee bit of money. "
"No, I didn't," said Fraser.
"Don't you think Mr Fraser that it is now time," added Mr Turnbull, "having been through all that we have, to give up this futile hope that somehow you can avoid responsibility for what you did?"
"I never did anything," replied Fraser.
But Mr Turnbull continued: ''The evidence in this case makes it perfectly plain you were responsible for the death of your wife."
"I wasn't," said Fraser.
Mr Turnbull said the evidence of farmer Hector Dick, originally a co-accused in the alleged murder plot turned prosecution witness after the start of the trial, and other witnesses pointed to Fraser's guilt.
Mr Turnbull's assertion that Arlene's murder was largely fuelled by money, followed Mr Dick's testimony last week that Fraser revealed to him that a divorce from his wife could have cost him in the region of £86,000 – half the value of his business and home.
Mr Turnbull said it would have been impossible for Mr Dick to come up with that figure without Fraser having told him.
However, Fraser denied giving Mr Dick any financial information, and said that with other investments the family had the likely cost of a divorce would have been "a lot more" than £86,000.
Fraser and his defence team labelled 46-year-old Dick, who was dramatically cleared of all charges against him earlier in the trial, an habitual liar, but Mr Turnbull claimed Fraser's assertion that Mr Dick and other witnesses were lying masked the truth.
"Hector Dick stood by you for a number of years and he stopped doing so when it became clear that you would be happy to see him go to trial for the murder of your wife rather than admit your own responsibility," he said.
"No, that's a lie," claimed Fraser.
"You have done a terrible thing. The truth is you have taken the life of the woman you promised you would live with forever," added Mr Turnbull.
"No, I haven't,"" said Fraser.
Mr Turnbull: "You have destroyed the lives of your wife's own family."
"No I didn't," replied Fraser.
Mr McBride later put it to Fraser: "It has been suggested that in the two weeks following Arlene's disappearance you found the time, somewhere in Elgin, to burn the body and grind up the teeth and bones.
"You were in constant touch with the police during the day but during the night did you sneak out to a farm, business premises or back garden to start setting a fire?
"Do you know how to go about disposing of a body?" added Mr McBride.
Fraser replied "no" to both suggestions and branded Mr Dick's claim that he hired a hit-man to kill his wife as a "big lie".