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Man 'may have seen murder victim in the street'

A MAN who said he looked at "thousands of girls" as he cruised the streets of Greenock admitted yesterday that murdered teenager Elaine Doyle may have been one of them.

A trial has heard that in the weeks before her death, more than 27 years ago, Elaine told friends about a blue car trailing her.

At that time - in June 1986 - 19-year-old Donald McKirdy was a clerical assistant with Strathclyde Police

He also liked to borrow the silver-blue Vauxhall Nova driven by his dad, a retired police officer.

Giving evidence at the High Court in Edinburgh today, Mr McKirkdy, 47, said he would spend evenings cruising round the streets.

He denied he was a kerb-crawler, as described in a police statement of the time. The jury heard that Mr McKirdy was questioned by police in the days following the discovery of Elaine's body just yards from her home in Ardgowan Street.

He told them:"I don't specifically go out to eye up girls but I do look at them when I am out, just like anyone would and I must have looked at thousands."

The teenage Mr McKirdy told the murder hunt officers he had never looked at Elaine Doyle, then re-considered.

Mr McKirdy is among 41 possible suspects listed by defence lawyers.

John Docherty, 49, now of Hunters' Quay, Holiday Village, Dunoon, denies murder and claims that at the time he is alleged to have stripped and strangled Elaine Doyle, 16, he was with his parents in Anne Street.

The trial continues.

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