Marie Low murder trial: Prosecutor gives closing speech

Members of the forensics team remove items from the Douglas flat. And Marie Low.

A prosecutor has asked a jury to find a woman guilty of the murder of a Dundee mum.

Siobhan Russell has been on trial for six days accused of striking 36-year-old Marie Low on the body with a knife at Ballantrae Terrace on September 4 last year.

The 30-year-old denies the charge, submitting a special defence of self-defence — stating that she had been defending herself after being attacked by the deceased and her eldest daughter Jamie-Lee Hodge.

Advocate depute Alan Cameron delivered his closing statement to members of the jury on Tuesday.

He stated that the evidence in the case showed that Russell had not acted in self-defence and that she had willingly involved herself in a confrontation and had taken the knife from her home.

He suggested the evidence should lead jurors to reach a guilty verdict on the charge of murder and that defences of self-defence and provocation were not reasonable.

The court previously heard of a fractious relationship between Russell and Ms Low, who lived in the same street, with witnesses telling of three separate altercations between the two in the days preceding Ms Low’s death.

The court heard evidence from John Hodge, 48 — Ms Low’s partner of 20 years — and James Duncan, who was in a relationship with the accused at the time, regarding a fight between the pair, two days prior to the alleged murder.

Both told of Russell attending Ms Low’s Ballantrae Terrace home with Mr Duncan and the pair engaging in a fist fight.

Mr Duncan claimed that the deceased had “made stabbing motions” towards the accused with a kitchen knife.

The court also heard from a number of witnesses that a further altercation had taken place on a “grassy area” next to Ballantrae Terrace.

Aaron Duncan, 33, a friend of Russell’s, told the court that he had intervened in a fight between the two in the days prior to Ms Low’s death — stating that the deceased hugged the accused and said, “I don’t even know why we are doing this”, before the pair walked away together.

In a final confrontation, witnesses told of seeing Ms Low attend Russell’s property and a fight breaking out.

The court also heard from Ms Low’s daughters. Jamie-Lee Hodge, 18, gave a tearful account of intervening in the fight – saying that she saw Russell plunge the blade into her mum.

Ms Low’s eldest daughter Demi Hodge, 20, told the court she grasped on to Russell’s hand as it clutched the alleged murder weapon.

The court also heard from investigating officers and forensic scientists who analysed the alleged murder weapon and found DNA matching the deceased on the blade and the accused on the handle.

Another knife — described as a cutlery knife — was recovered from the scene but no DNA was able to be taken from it.

The court also heard from Russell’s friend Leanne Carty who said the accused admitted that she had “just stabbed Marie” on the phone to her as police descended on her home.

Several police officers also told of hearing the accused admit “the knife is under the kitchen sink” – where a black-handled knife was recovered.

The trial continues.