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Two on trial for murder of woman 'struck by knife and choked'

Tracey Walker died after reportedly having her neck compressed by being struck by a knife.

Tracey Walker: Died after being 'struck by knife'.
Tracey Walker: Died after being 'struck by knife'. Police

Two suspects are to stand trial accused of murdering a woman on Shetland by striking her with a knife and choking her.

Ross MacDougall, 31, and Dawn Smith, 28, are charged with killing Tracey Walker on July 30 this year.

Prosecutors claim the 40 year-old suffered blunt force trauma "by means unknown", had her neck compressed and was repeatedly struck with a knife.

It is also stated MacDougall and Smith tried to rob Ms Walker of money during the alleged murder that is said to have occurred in Ladies Drive, Lerwick.

The pair are further accused of assaulting Gary Latham there on the same day.

The charge includes claims they brandished a knife at him and did intend to rob him.

They are also accused of attempting to pervert the course of justice after the alleged killing.

It is said they asked a man to provide an alibi, a change of clothes and a bag which prosecutors claim was to help "conceal and destroy evidence' as well as "avoid detection".

MacDougall alone faces a separate allegation of taking a car from a house in Lerwick and Smith is also charged with having a knife in a public place.

The pair denied the accusations during a short hearing at the High Court in Glasgow on Wednesday.

MacDougall's lawyer Shahid Latif and Paul Nelson, defending Smith, agreed with prosecutor Duncan McPhie that a trial could be set.

Lord Turnbull fixed a trial due to begin on April 14 next year in Livingston.

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