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Woman's blood and flesh 'found in murdered accused's home'

Blood matching Kimberley MacKenzie's DNA also found on a hammer in the property, trial hears.

Scene: Police in Montrose after remains were found.
Scene: Police in Montrose after remains were found. © HEMEDIA / SWNS Group

Body tissue and blood of a mother-of-three were found in the house where she was allegedly murdered, a court has heard.

Forensic scientist Jacqueline Sharp told the High Court in Glasgow she examined the house at 40A Market Street in Montrose - the home of murder accused Steven Jackson and Michelle Higgins - after the death of Kimberley MacKenzie.

Ms Sharp was giving evidence at the trial of Jackson, 40, and Higgins, 29, who deny murdering the 37-year-old and dismembering her body on October 27 last year.

Parts of Ms MacKenzie's body were found in four bins and the rest hidden in a rucksack and a suitcase in a shower cubicle at 73 William Phillips Drive, Montrose.

Ms Sharp told prosecutor Ashley Edwards QC she spent four days at Market Street to look for any blood and carry out blood pattern analysis.

The forensic scientist told the jury she found blood spots on a black armchair in the living room, on the floor and wall nearby and at the bottom of a glass coffee table.

Ms Edwards said: "That was found to be the blood of Kimberley MacKenzie."

Ms Sharp replied: "That's what I understand from my colleagues' report."

The court was told blood was also found in the hallway and in the bathroom. Some of the blood found was smeared and diluted.

When Ms Edwards suggested spots found on the wall of an the armchair in the living room could account for an assault while a person was on the floor, the scientist agreed.

She also said a smear of blood was found at the bathroom wall close to the door.

https://stv.tv/news/tayside/1375493-woman-stabbed-40-times-before-body-was-dismembered/ | default

Ms Edwards asked: "Could that be consistent with a person who had been injured being carried into the bathroom?"

Ms Sharp replied: "It is possible yes, it is one explanation."

She also found what she described as "small translucent gelatinous pieces" on a cupboard door in the bathroom and on the hallway floor.

Ms Sharp described them as "typical of something you would see on the edges of knives or similar".

The trial also heard from forensic scientist Barry Mitchell on Wednesday, who said tiny traces of blood matching Ms MacKenzie's DNA were found on the end of a hammer.

The alleged weapon was seized by police from Jackson's home at 40a Market Street, Montrose, after Ms MacKenzie's body parts were found.

Mr Mitchell described the blood as being "minute spots" and said they were in the striking end of the hammer and the inner aspect of the claw head.

He said he examined the right shoe of the pair Jackson was wearing when he was detained by police on November 5 last year.

Mr Mitchell said there were "tiny traces of blood" between the sole and the upper, adding: "They matched the DNA profile of Kimberley MacKenzie."

He said he also found blood on the left shoe, but this was not analysed.

DNA matching Jackson's was found on the handle of a green suitcase which contained Ms MacKenzie's head and thighs.

The jury also heard blood found on the back of Higgins' mobile phone matched the DNA profile of Ms MacKenzie.

Jackson, and Higgins, are accused of murdering Ms MacKenzie by repeatedly striking her on the head, neck and body with a hammer or similar instrument and striking her with a knife at 40a Market Street, Montrose, on October 27, 2015.

They are also accused of attempting to defeat the ends of justice by dismembering her body using a saw, knives and a screwdriver and wrapping parts of her body in bin liners and bags and hiding them in bins at 40 Market Street, Patons Lane, Chapel Street and 73 William Phillips Drive, all Montrose, between October 27 and November 4, 2015.

Both deny the charges against them. The trial before judge Lady Rae continues.

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