PLAYMATES of Caroline Hogg saw a scruffy man in need of a shave

watching them as they played yards from where the five-year-old went

missing on a July evening in 1983, a murder trial was told yesterday.

Statements were read out from the witnesses, children at the time, at

the trial in Newcastle of Mr Robert Black, who denies kidnapping and

murdering Caroline, Susan Maxwell the previous year, and Sarah Harper in


The jury also heard the evidence given to the police by Caroline's

parents, Annette and John Hogg.

Caroline's body was found in a layby near Twycross, Leicestershire, 12

days after she went missing near Portobello promenade.

A statement made by one of the youngsters, Andrew Casey, was given to

the police the following day, July 8, 1983. He said he and other

children had been playing at Towerbank School, close to where the Hoggs

lived in Portobello, at about 6.30 in the evening.

Stewart Hogg, Caroline's brother, had joined them and they had seen

Caroline leave her house and go down towards the promenade. The witness

remembered Mrs Hogg telling Stewart to go down to find Caroline as she

had gone towards the swing park.

The witness said he had seen a man come down from a nearby lane and

stand at the lamp- post beside the pitch. He had lit a cigarette and

then went off in the direction of the promenade.

There had also been a drunk man close by and, the witness said, he

could not remember which of the men it was but one had needed a shave.

Another witness, Nicola Docherty, who had been 10 at the time, said

she had seen Caroline walk alone towards the promenade. After Caroline

had passed she saw a man leaning against a building.

She said had ''become suspicious because he looked weird''.

Donald Wayland, who was nine when he gave his statement to the police,

said the man he noticed had been there for about 40 minutes and had

walked off in the opposite direction to Caroline.

Mr Black sat impassively as a Mrs Annette Hogg's statement, given

immediately after Caroline disappeared, was read out.

Mrs Hogg said she had only allowed Caroline to play in the playground

of Towerbank school, in the football pitch at the school, or in the

housing estate.

The statement described the routine of that day.

She had dressed Caroline to go to a party at the house of a friend and

then took her there about 2pm. She and her husband collected Caroline

after 4pm.

Caroline had gone out to play still wearing her party clothes.

Mrs Hogg's statement said she had made the family tea but Caroline

could not be found and the family ate without her. When she returned

about 5.20, Mrs Hogg had given her a row for being late and she had not

eaten her tea.

The couple had then gone to Portobello High Street, taking Caroline

with them. On the walk home the child had been full of fun and they had

raced down the road.

At the garden gate Caroline had asked if she could go out an play and

had been told she could do so for five minutes if she changed her shoes.

Caroline had left the house just on seven.

They had then decided to go to the home of friends for a drink and Mrs

Hogg had shouted to Caroline's brother to ask if he had seen the child

but he had not.

She had looked for Caroline and then told her husband she could not

find her. After a further search they telephoned the police.

Mr John Hogg's statement said: ''I can only think she had been enticed

away by someone who had been able to gain her trust because in normal

circumstances she would not have gone away with someone she did not


The trial continues.