Man in court over Elaine Doyle death

A man appeared in court in Glasgow today accused of murdering schoolgirl Elaine Doyle more than 27 years ago and a trial date was set.

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Elaine Doyle

John Docherty, 49, denies killing the 16-year-old on June 2, 1986 in Greenock.

He is accused of strangling Elaine in a lane near her home in Ardgowan Street.

Docherty, who lives in Dunoon, made his first public appearance at the High Court in Glasgow this morning before Lord Bannatyne. The accused wore dark trousers and a dark jacket.

He will now face trial on March 25 at the High Court in Edinburgh. The case is expected to last up to eight weeks.

Docherty is accused of seizing Elaine by the hair, striking her on the head and struggling with her.

He is also accused of removing or compelling her to remove her clothing, forcing her to the ground, pushing her face into the ground, sitting or kneeling on top of her, placing a ligature around her neck and strangling her.

Docherty, whose defence QC is Donald Findlay, is also facing

a charge of stealing a hand bag and its contents from Ardgowan Lane on the same day. He also faces a third charge of assaulting a woman - between January 1, 1990 and December 31, 1995 - at Albert Road, Gourock, and also Anne Street, Greenock.

Docherty is accused of injuring the woman by seizing her by the arms and neck, pushing her on her body, struggling with her, seizing her by the hair and punching her on the head.

Docherty denies all charges.

His QC entered not guilty pleas to the charges and also lodged special defences of alibi and incrimination.

Elaine died on her way home from a disco before her body was later found in a lane off the town's Ardgowan Street.

The indictment served against

Docherty is the first following an

investigation by the Cold Case Unit set up by the Crown Office in 2011.


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