Hundreds of hours of CCTV footage from around Stornoway were viewed by officers in the investigation into the murder of Liam Aitchison, the court heard this afternoon (Tuesday).
Also more than 600 witness statements were taken by police.
At the ongoing trial of Johnathan Mackinnon and Stefan Millar – both 22 – who are accused of murdering Liam Aitchison on November 23rd 2011, the court heard evidence from Police Constable Neil Moir who was the CCTV Co-ordinator in the investigation.
He said in his evidence that there had been no sighting of Liam Aitchison on CCTV on or since midnight on November 22nd 2011.
He said viewing CCTV footage had been a huge operation which had lasted 23 days with a team of officers watching footage for 12 hours each day. He said they had focused on the Plasterfield and Steinish areas but no CCTV footage had been recovered. Mackinnons Bakery in Plasterfield had no external cameras, a house on Constable Road which may have had cameras did not and footage from Stornoway Airport tower had proved too far away.
Of the CCTV footage viewed, Defence lawyer Mr Paterson said: “It’s as simple as this, having looked at CCTV you didn’t see any images as someone you could identify as Liam Aitchison.”
Mr Moir said they had identified Liam in footage at the Co-op supermarket on the evening of November 22nd.
Mr Moir said that they could only identify the person if the footage was of sufficient quality. He said that also if they were looking at footage with some form of intelligence, they could identify movements.
Mr Paterson questioned whether some people would know where cameras were placed in a small place and Mr Moir replied that he highly doubted they would know of business premises cameras.
Earlier today the court also heard evidence from a childhood acquaintance of Liam Aitchison.
Amanda McCall (26) said she knew Liam’s family as she had grown up with his Auntie in Ness. She hadn’t seen him since he was about three or four years old but a visit to a Chip Shop in Stornoway in November 2011 had brought him back into her mind.
She saw a poster which said he was missing and was asking for information from anyone who had seen him. She remembered that she had seen Liam at a bus stop on Macaulay Road.
In her statement to police she said she had seen him on Thursday November 24th but said in court she was mistaken and it was actually Tuesday November 22nd.
She said she had seen him when she was getting off the bus opposite the hospital when she was with her friend. They had planned to meet for a Chinese takeaway on the Thursday but it was changed to Tuesday and that was why she been mixed up with the dates. She said her friend had always been confident it was the Tuesday they had seen Liam. She said he had been wearing a white zip up top and she had noticed that it had looked quite dirty.
In cross examination by defence lawyer Iain Paterson, she was questioned on why she had never informed police that she had got her dates mixed up. She said she was ‘scared’ and didn’t want to make things difficult.
Mr Paterson asked her if she knew what perjury was? Lying under oath, she said. Had anybody suggested that she change her position, he asked. No, she replied.
“If you saw Liam on the 24th of November, these are the wrong men, you know that don’t you?” he asked. He said it was ‘ridiculous’ that somebody could be so convinced at the time that it was the Thursday and then 18 months later be convinced it was the Tuesday.
“It might sound ridiculous but it’s true,” she said.