The trial of the man accused of murdering Dundee mother Mary McLaren is to take place this spring.
Patrick James Rae (40), a prisoner at Perth, denies murdering and raping Mrs McLaren between February 25 and March 10 last year.
At a preliminary hearing at the High Court in Edinburgh on Monday, Lord Kinclaven ordered Rae to stand trial on May 3.
Six weeks have been set aside for the case at the High Court in Edinburgh, and a further preliminary hearing to ensure all parties were ready for trial was ordered for April 6.
Rae denies that at North Marketgait and elsewhere in Dundee, he assaulted Mrs McLaren, then of Rowantree Crescent, by seizing hold of her, forcibly removing her clothing, raping her, repeatedly punching her on the head, repeatedly striking her head and body on the ground and against a wall, or otherwise inflicting violence on her, repeatedly striking her on the neck with a knife or similar instrument, placing a piece of fabric or similar over her throat, seizing her by the throat, compressing, thereby restricting her breathing and murdering her.
The indictment Rae is facing also alleges that between February 25 and March 15 at North Marketgait, Dundee, Brechin Road in Arbroath and elsewhere unknown, he concealed the body of Mary McLaren under leaf litter and plant foliage at North Marketgait and, at the same location and elsewhere, removed and disposed of a coat, bagging contents belonging to Mary McLaren.
It is also alleged that, at the same location and elsewhere, he disposed of a knife or similar instrument.
Rae is also accused of disposing of and washing clothes at Brechin Road, Arbroath, and elsewhere, doing so to avoid arrest, detection and prosecution and thus attempted to defeat the ends of justice.
Rae’s defence is being conducted by Mark Stewart QC, while the prosecution is being led by advocate depute David Young QC.