A pensioner accused of killing a missing woman has claimed he is “incapable” of her murder.
Edward Cairney insisted Margaret Fleming was alive the last time he saw her – and that he never “harmed” her.
He also said it was “tripe” he told police probing Margaret’s whereabouts that the case would “end up in a murder charge”.
The 77-year-old is on trial with Avril Jones, 59, at the High Court in Glasgow.
They deny murdering Margaret at their house in Seacroft, Inverkip, between December 18, 1999, and January 5, 2000.
Margaret – who would now be 38 – has allegedly not been seen for more than 19 years.
Cairney yesterday gave evidence at the trial.
Jurors have heard how he and Jones became carers for Margaret when her lawyer father died in 1995.
Having gone missing in early 2000, Cairney said Margaret returned within a week.
He then told the court she would “come and go” over the years until 2016, insisting the last time he met Margaret was in London in 2017.
His QC Mr Ross asked him: “Have you ever harmed Margaret?”
Cairney: “No, I certainly have not.
“I am incapable of harming a lady…just cannot do that.”
The trial continues.