Accused 'hit with DNA bombshell'

OFFICERS quizzing the man accused of murdering Elaine Doyle hit him with "a bombshell" the trial has heard.

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Former soldier John Docherty, 49, was answering questions almost 27 years after the girl was found strangled near her Greenock home.

A jury at the High Court in Edinburgh has been watching video footage of the interview conducted in March last year.

Docherty told Detective Constable William Brandon he had been advised by his solicitor not to answer, then told him he could not remember where he was on the night Elaine died.

But Docherty went on to agree he had been at the same Sunday night disco as Elaine and her friends.

He also told his questioners that he had been dancing with girls and "quite possibly trying it on" but could not remember who his dancing partners were.

"But you didn't get a lumber?" asked Mr Brandon. "No," replied Docherty.

"Did you dance with Elaine Doyle?" asked the detective.

"I couldn't tell you," answered Docherty.

"I wouldn't have thought so."

Commenting on photos featured in media reports of the murder, Mr Brandon asked: "You don't recognise these photos as anyone you had seen, let along danced with?"

Docherty told him: "No".

The trial has heard that in May 2012 Docherty volunteered a sample of DNA to the Operation Evergreen investigation.

During the interview almost a year later the detectives revealed that it was "an exact match" with DNA recovered from the girl's naked body.

Docherty repeatedly said he was unable to give an explanation.

"I really don't know what more I can say on it.

"I have tried to answer the questions you have been asking me as best I can and you come out with that bombshell."

Docherty, now of Dunoon, denies murder. The trial continues.

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