A police officer who claimed a murder accused admitted to the killing of his former partner has been forced to accept he “forgot” to record that vital piece of evidence.
PC Garry Smith told the High Court in Glasgow earlier this week that Steven Jackson admitted to “finishing off” Kimberley MacKenzie by “slashing her throat” after co-accused Michelle Higgins hit her on the head with a hammer.
Under cross examination from Donald Findlay QC — defending Jackson — he was forced to accept that admission of murder had never been uttered by him ahead of his appearance in the witness box.
Mr Findlay pointed out that it was absent from his police notebook, absent from his operational statement – written shortly after – and also absent from a detailed statement given to CID officers, who took over the investigation.
Mr Findlay told the officer his evidence was either a fabrication or evidence of incompetent police work.
“You either lied or were careless to a degree that does not befit a police officer, never mind one giving evidence in a High Court murder trial,” Mr Findlay said.
“To finish her off can have only one implication.
“You cannot have finished someone off unless they are alive to be finished off.
“You used words that clearly amount to an admission of murder, yet they are not in your notebook, not in your operational statement and not in your interview with CID.”
Mr Findlay directed Lady Rae and jurors to PC Smith’s statements, in which he quoted “Michelle smashed her head in with a hammer. Then he cut her up in the bath with a saw”.
He said: “You appear to have missed the most important part of the admission.
“I think in this case the one thing that no police officer would forget would be the fact that the man they have brought to the police station has admitted to murder?”
PC Smith replied: “We all forget things”, prompting an incredulous Mr Findlay to question whether “that can be a serious answer from a police officer; that you forgot a man had admitted murder”.
The police officer said he had remembered the admission in the year since his statement to CID officer but accepted he had told no-one, telling the court he had kept the information for his evidence.
Mr Findlay asked him: ” Are you truly suggesting that in the year that came and went you remembered that Mr Jackson had actually said to you ‘I finished her off’, meaning to kill her, by ‘cutting or slashing her throat’ and you didn’t think you should tell anyone?”
The officer replied simply “that is correct”.
Steven Jackson, 40, and co-accused Michelle Higgins, 29, are on trial at the High Court in Glasgow.
They deny murdering and dismembering 37-year-old Kimberley MacKenzie at Jackson’s flat in Montrose in October last year.
It is alleged they cut up Miss MacKenzie’s body and put her parts into bins at Market Street, Paton’s Lane, Chapel Street and William Phillips Drive.
Jackson and Higgins are also alleged to have cleaned and bleached the walls of the flat and disposed of a bloodstained rug.
The trial continues.