Doyle jury told police probe was 'shambles'

THE lawyer defending the man accused of murdering Elaine Doyle has told a jury the police investigation into the 16-year-old's death was a "shambles".

Loading Comments

Donald Findlay, QC, said detectives did not properly secure the area in Greenock where her body was discovered in June 1986.

At the High Court in Edinburgh, Mr Findlay said the way officers acted caused evidence that was collected at the scene to become contaminated.

Mr Findlay said DNA evidence against his client John Docherty was unreliable and that the jury could not trust it when it came to consider its verdict.

He also said he believed some police officers who had given evidence at the trial had told lies about what happened in the early stages of the investigation.

Mr Findlay was speaking to the jury on the 50th day of proceedings against 49-year-old Docherty, of Dunoon, Argyll, who denies murdering Elaine on June 2 1986.

The advocate spent the entire court day delivering his closing speech. During his address, Mr Findlay said that when police were collecting forensic evidence from Elaine's body, officers did not wear protective clothing.

He said this allowed DNA evidence to become contaminated and that the jury could not trust this evidence to prove John Docherty's guilt.

Speaking about the policemen who attended the death scene, Mr Findlay said: "That group of officers virtually destroyed the crime scene.

"They did not take steps to ensure that this corruption was minimised. It was a shambles from the word go."

Mr Findlay told the jury he believed evidence also showed that some of the officers who gave evidence at the trial had not told the truth.

The trial continues on Monday.

Block list

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on Evening Times on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis. If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.


Have you got a story?

Contact the news desk on 0141 302 6520 or email
A weekly round up of social highlights

A weekly round up of social highlights

Cat's Eyes on Glasgow

When a dog is not a dog. I go vegan in the city.




Gail’s Gab

Gail’s Gab

Gail Sheridan is a mother-of-one and wife to Tommy and she likes to get political with the hot topic of the week in her column Gail’s Gab.

Michelle McManus

Michelle McManus

Sussed in the City

why I wanted to be She-Ra Princess of Power or Morten Harket from A-Ha

Janice Bell

Janice Bell

You couldn’t make up half the stuff that happens to PA Janice Bell- some of the jams she gets herself into are worth a story or two.