A CONVICTED killer halted the Elaine Doyle murder trial when he clashed with veteran defence QC Donald Findlay who was questioning him about strangling his girlfriend.

Brian Buckley, 45, was surrounded by security officers as he tried to leave the court - and threatened to start fighting.

Buckley is serving life for the sex slaying of a 25-year-old mum-of-two in Wrexham, Wales.

He is also one of 41 names on a list of possible suspects for the murder of Elaine, who was found naked and strangled near her Greenock home more than 27 years ago.

Mr Findlay claims there are some similarities between the two murders, although they are more than 20 years apart.

At the High Court in Edinburgh, the lawyer was faced with a series of "no comment" replies as he asked Buckley: "How did you strangle your girlfriend?" and "Why did you kill her?"

Mr Findlay asked: "Why are you not prepared to tell the jury what kind of man you are?"

Stepping down from the witness box, Buckley swore at Mr Findlay and said: "I am done." As security officials blocked the courtroom exit, Mr Buckley added: "Do you want me to start fighting?"

Judge Lord Stewart adjourned the trial until today, when Buckley could face further questioning.

Before the incident, the trial had heard Buckley had a long record for dishonesty and assaults, going back to his early teens.

In August 2010 he was found guilty of throttling his then partner Leah Ingram.

He told the Elaine Doyle murder trial he would not say anything about the conviction in Mold Crown Court because he was still planning an appeal.

Elaine's body was found just yards from her Ardgowan Street home early on June 2, 1986.

On the night she died Buckley and a prison pal, Robert Brown, 47, had been prowling the streets in that part of town looking for houses to break into.

He was brought back to Scotland to recall the night, more than 27 years ago.

On trial for Elaine's murder is John Docherty, 49, of Dunoon.

He denies murder and claims that at the time he is alleged to have stripped and strangled Elaine Doyle, 16, he was with his parents - who are no longer alive - at their home in Anne Street.