Arlene Murder: Nat is guilty: Evil and greedy

HeadLine: ARLENE MURDER: NAT IS GUILTY: EVIL & GREEDY

The Mirror, 30/01/2003, p4&5
by SHAUN MILNE

IT was a lethal mix of jealousy and greed that drove Nat Fraser to plot
his estranged wife’s murder.
Behind the smooth exterior and charming smile lay a cold, calculating
killer with enough self-confidence to believe he could really get away
with it.
But while Fraser, 44, planned meticulously to commit the perfect
murder, his arrogance led him to make fundamental errors.
Fraser knew there had been only two cases in Scottish criminal history
where Crown prosecutors had secured murder convictions despite the
victims’ bodies never being recovered.
While in both cases there was forensic or witness evidence, in Arlene’s
there was neither.
For that reason Fraser foolishly believed he was untouchable.
He handed cops their big break, however, by confessing to pal Glenn
Lucas during a prison visit.
It was a major achievement in itself simply to get Nat Fraser into the
dock.
Yesterday at the High Court in Edinburgh Fraser looked stunned as he
realised his “perfect murder” had finally failed after five years
cheating justice.
The jury had taken just two hours 45 minutes to convict the grey haired
killer by a majority verdict.
When the verdict was announced, Fraser blinked repeatedly, shifted in
his seat and looked at the floor.
Told he would serve a minimum of 25 years in prison, he swayed from
side to side before fainting. Two police officers caught the killer
before he hit the floor.
There were cheers of relief from the public gallery as Arlene’s mother,
sister and father hugged each other. But they were hushed into sombre
silence as the trial judge, Lord Mackay, delivered his verdict on
Fraser.
He said: “I confine myself to one word in seeking to describe what you
did. Evil.”
The court had heard how Fraser was resentful of Arlene’s new-found life
as a single woman and suspicious that she had formed a new
relationship.
Fraser himself admitted that she stood to gain as much as £30,000 in a
divorce settlement.
As Arlene’s family wept, Lord Mackay told him: “It is difficult to
comprehend how any man can bring himself to plan and arrange the
cold-blooded killing of his wife, a wife who was also the mother of two
young children.
“But that is what you stand convicted of, apparently for the purpose of
seeking to avoid the financial consequences of a divorce and of
eliminating your wife who was beginning a new life independently of
you.”
Nat Fraser’s own big mouth gave detectives their big breakthrough, it
emerged last night.
During a stretch in Porterfield jail, Inverness, Fraser confided in
visitor Glenn Lucas about how he had disposed of Arlene’s body.
Police drafted in a lip-reader to study video footage of the meeting.
One legal source told the Mirror: “In all honesty, the inquiry was
pretty well going no-where. We knew he’d done it, but there was nothing
– no leads, no clues, we were stuck. But when we were told about the
meetings with Lucas a specialist was called in, a lip-reader for want
of a better term.
“She didn’t get everything, but she got enough. Just snatches of the
conversation which convinced the team they had the right man. That’s
when we went for broke.”
Fraser had already slipped up when he planted Arlene’s engagement,
wedding and eternity rings in the bathroom of her home nine days after
she vanished.
Alan Turnbull QC described the rings as the “cornerstone” of the entire
case.
Arlene’s family last night told of their frustration at watching Fraser
lie through his teeth for almost five years.
At an emotional press conference, her sister Carol Gillies echoed Lord
Mackay when she said: “There is only one word to describe him – evil.”
Her lip curling with disgust, she added: “I could only sit there
listening to his evidence for half an hour, I couldn’t stomach any more
of Nat’s lies in the witness box.
“For the last four and a half years he was so plausible.
The family now faces the task of explaining Fraser’s macabre actions to
his children, Jamie, 15, and Natalie, 10.
Ms Gillies said: “He’s ruined his life, he’s ruined our lives and he’s
ruined Jamie and Natalie’s lives.
“At the moment I’m thrilled that justice has been done although I just
feel overwhelmed with sadness.
“The people who have stood by Nat for the past five years, he owes it
to them to tell the truth. It’s the truth that will heal us and justice
as well.”
When Nat collapsed in the dock, Ms Gillies said: “I wondered whether it
was finally dawning upon him.”
Lord Mackay, too, had thoughts for Nat and Arlene’s children. He said:
“Mr Fraser, your evil conduct did not cease in April 1998.
“For almost five years since that date you have protested your
innocence and in doing so caused untold additional hardship to Arlene
Fraser’s parents, her sister and other members of her extended family.”
Pausing briefly, he added: “Later on today, someone is going to have
to explain to your two children that you have now been convicted of
killing their mother – you, the father who has looked after those two
children since their mother’s death.
“Having suffered the body-blow of losing their mother five years ago,
they will now learn that their mother was killed by their father, the
same father who has consistently lied to them these last five years.”

**

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Categories: Daily Mirror articles

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