The Northern Scot's Arlene Fraser and Nat Fraser files: 2003 – QC accuses 'serial liar' Dick of murder
This story appeared in the Northern Scot, January 31, 2003.
MORAY farmer Hector Dick was accused of being a murderer by Nat Fraser's defence lawyer.
Mr Paul McBride QC launched into a scathing attack on the prosecution's key witness as he addressed the jury for the final time on Tuesday.
"Had Hector Dick remained on indictment, the prosecutor could have presented a compelling case against him as a murderer," claimed Mr McBride.
In his closing speech, Mr McBride described Mr Dick as an "evil man" and "a pathological liar''.
Mr McBride branded Mr Dick's assertion that Nat Fraser hired a hitman to kill his wife and then disposed of her body himself as a "badly written plot from Eastenders".
He claimed it was impossible to believe a word Mr Dick said throughout the trial as he had been proven to have committed perjury in his evidence.
Mr McBride said the only person in the trial against whom there was any hard evidence had been freed by the Crown.
"He is a proven, serial liar and a proven, serial perjurer, and a man against whom any half decent prosecutor could have got a conviction for murder?" he added.
"Never has a man stood in the witness box in the High Court before and told as many lies as he has. His first words to the police years ago were lies, and his final breath to this court was perjury."
Mr McBride said that the cornerstones of the Crown case were Mr Dick and the car, which he admitted crushing and burning to destroy possible forensic evidence which could link it to Arlene Fraser.
"The attempt by the Crown to get a conviction against Nat Fraser means that they have jumped into bed with a person who is a perjurer and liar and then tried to persuade you they are not,'' he said.
"This is a man who is now almost unable to tell the truth; it is almost an illness," Mr McBride added.
He accused Mr Dick of "callousness and calculation" in his repeated denials to police that he had any connection to the car.
Mr McBride said that even after admitting to police in October 1999 – 18 months after Arlene went missing – that he had bought the car, Mr Dick pleaded not guilty at his trial in Dingwall Sheriff Court in January 2001, to attempting to pervert the course of justice, although he subsequently changed his plea midway through the trial.
"That is the action of somebody who is evil, and there is no escaping from that. It is eloquent of a man who will do and say anything to get himself out of trouble." he said.
"For the day of Arlene's disappearance, Mr Fraser has an alibi – where is Mr Dick's? If I had been the prosecutor, I would have been asking Mr Dick where he was that day."
Mr McBride said his client had been open and honest with the police throughout the inquiry and there had been no evidence of lies on his part.
"When he gave evidence, he didn't have to, and could have just sat there. He put his head in the lion's mouth and told us he loved his wife and didn't pay anybody else to kill her."
Mr McBride said that the mystery of what happened to Mrs Fraser – which he described as one of the most amazing and difficult cases for years in the High Court – may never be solved.
He told the jury: "The decision you make will not be the most important decision of your lives, but it will be the most important of his (Fraser's) life and those of his children.
"The children have lost their mother – they should not be deprived of their father," Mr McBride added.