THE MAN on trial for the murder of Elaine Doyle told police he knew nothing about the case apart from what he had read in newspapers, a court has heard.
The High Court in Edinburgh has heard how former soldier John Docherty was taken from his Greenock home in handcuffs in a dawn raid on March 22 last year.
Yesterday, a jury began to watch video recorded during a day of questioning about the 1986 murder.
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Docherty, a driver with Inverclyde Council, was asked by Detective Constable William Brandon what he knew.
"Nothing, other than what I've read," replied Docherty. Asked to elaborate, Docherty continued: "She was a young lassie on a night out and she didn't make it home."
Docherty, now 49, told the detective that when Ms Doyle was murdered he was a 22-year-old living with his parents in Anne Street, Greenock. After leaving school at 16, he had worked as a labourer "in the yards" and had also been unemployed and taken part in government work schemes. In 1988 he began a six-year spell in the Army before working for local authorities.
DC Brandon told him he had been identified as a "man with staring eyes" who had been seen following a girl in the area near where she lived.
Docherty, now of Hunters' Quay, Holiday Village, Dunoon, denies murdering Ms Doyle, 16, who was found stripped and strangled.
He has lodged a so-called special defence of incrimination.
The trial continues.