ANGER erupted into fury yesterday after a man was cleared of throttling and murdering prostitute Leona McGovern following a two-week trial.

Relatives of the dead woman shouted abuse at George Walker, 31, inside and outside the High Court in Glasgow.

One man shouted ``you're a dead man'' and women screamed ``animal'' at him before they were ordered out of the court room.

Fifteen minutes later, after waiting outside the building in the city's busy Ingram Street, they tried to attack him.

The angry group of relatives threw themselves at Mr Walker as he ran for a taxi from the building wearing a different jacket.

Police officers hurried from the building after hearing the screams and shouts and held back a number of angry women as other relatives kicked the taxi in frustration at being unable to grapple with Mr Walker.

Ms McGovern, 22, was one of four Glasgow prostitutes found murdered in recent years, and Mr Walker was the second accused to be cleared of murdering one of them.

A jury took 90 minutes to find him not guilty by a majority of the murder last June.

Mr Walker's defence team produced another man during the trial whom they claimed was the real murderer.

The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, denied in evidence he murdered Ms McGovern, who was found throttled with a belt round her neck and with multiple stab wounds to her face and neck.

Lord Cowie placed a reporting restriction under the Contempt of Court Act and ruled that the man's identity and his evidence cannot be published or broadcast meantime.

Ms McGovern was found behind the Arts Centre in Washington Street in a red-light district of Glasgow.

Mr Walker, who lived in a hostel nearby in Cheapside Street, denied in evidence that he was the murderer.

The Crown claimed he murdered her because she refused to give him #30 she owed him which he needed to feed his drug habit.

Witnesses told the court they saw Mr Walker in the area and a security guard on his way home said he saw him stabbing at something on the ground where the body was found.

A professor of forensic medicine said the man who killed Ms McGovern, of Corsock Street, Haghill, Glasgow, was probably trying to disfigure her and did not intend to murder her.

Ms McGovern was one of four young women found dead in Glasgow in recent years.

Ms Diane McInally's body was found in Pollok estate but no-one has been charged with her murder.

MrsKaren McGregor's husband Charles was found ``not proven'' of her murder after her body was found dumped near the city's SECC in 1993 and a report on the death of Ms Marjorie Roberts, found drowned in the Clyde last August, is still with the procurator-fiscal's office.

Mr Walker's defence solicitor, Mr John Carroll, said after yesterday's verdict: ``We believe the wrong man was placed in the dock and the jury obviously thought the same.''

The defence of incriminating the unnamed man was formed after Mr Carroll's investigator, Ms Susan Webster, 29, was given his name by a man in Barlinnie Prison.

Advocate depute Michael O'Grady told the jury they should not be sidetracked by the defence naming the other man as the alleged murderer.

Mr O'Grady told the jury: ``This is a twilight world of drugs and prostitution where you don't send someone a lawyer's letter for not paying up. He claimed evidence pointed to Mr Walker being the murderer.

A senior detective said later: ``The man named by the defence was investigated by us and eliminated from our inquiries. We do not intend looking at him again.''