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Men on defence's list of suspects deny any involvement in murder

AN acquaintance of Elaine Doyle has been shown a sketch of a suspect who might have killed her — and denied it was him.

The picture was drawn by a police artist after a sighting of a young man acting suspiciously in a Greenock stairwell the night the teenager died, more than 27 years ago. A trial has seen two versions, one black and white and another in colour,- showing distinctive ginger or auburn hair.

At the High Court in Edinburgh, William Campbell, 51, agreed that back in 1986 his hair was auburn but had turned grey because of nerves. Looking at the sketch he told the jury: "My hair may have been the same colour but it was a completely different style."

John Docherty, 49, is on trial and denies murder. He claims the true killer may be on of a list of 41 names drawn up by his defence team. Mr Campbell, whose name is on the list, was asked if he killed the 16-year-old and replied: "No".

A police report from 1986 described the relationship between him and Ms Doyle as "on talking terms at a pool hall". Mr Campbell told the trial that Ms Doyle was his friend and would joke about him being her boyfriend to cheer him up when he felt low and depressed.

Another witness, who like Ms Doyle and her friends hung around a pool hall in Greenock, said it was "ridiculous" his name was on the same list of suspects.

Port operator Martin Docherty, 45, said he would sometimes walk Ms Doyle home but they were "just friends."

John Docherty, now of Hunters' Quay, Holiday Village, Dunoon, denies murder and claims that at the time he is alleged to have stripped and strangled Elaine he was with his parents, who are no longer alive, at their home in Anne Street.

He also denies stealing a handbag from Ardgowan Street on the same date.

He further denies a charge of attacking another woman, Linda Hargie, on various occasions between 1990 and 1995 in Anne Street.

The trial continues.

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