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08th Jan 2020

BBC’s new true crime documentary examines one of the most shocking cases of recent times

Paul Moore

Mystery still remains over Margaret Fleming’s disappearance. True crime fans will want to see this when it starts tonight.

A mystery disappearance, a suspected secret that was hidden for 16 years and a murder trial in search of answers.

That’s all in store in the BBC’s two-part documentary Murder Trial: The Disappearance of Margaret Fleming, which examines one of the most incredible criminal cases in recent years.

For context, Margaret Fleming was a vulnerable teenager with learning difficulties.

Entrusted by her dying father into the care of his friends Eddie Cairney and Avril Jones, it was believed she was living in a remote coastal property in the village of Inverkip, on the west coast of Scotland.

However, in 2016, an application for a Personal Independence Payment raised suspicions.

When authorities couldn’t contact the applicant, the police were called and it was discovered that Margaret had seemingly vanished.

When her friends and family were questioned by police, it transpired no one had seen her since 1999.

In the 2019 murder trial that unfolded, Cairney and Jones stood accused of killing her, disposing of her body and claiming benefits in her name for 16 years.

Despite a huge police search operation to trace Fleming, her body has never been found.

Filmed by Bafta Scotland award-winning director Matt Pinder, the documentary has unprecedented access to the investigation and subsequent trial of co-accused Edward Cairney and Avril Jones.

The documentary will take the audience into the very centre of the trial at Glasgow’s High Court and beyond as Cairney and Jones face trial for the murder of Margaret Fleming.

Offering a compelling insight into the work of the police and prosecutors in bringing the two suspects to trial, the documentary also shines a light on the work of the defence teams representing those accused of Margaret’s murder.

Part one of Murder Trial: The Disappearance of Margaret Fleming airs at 9pm on BBC Two.

Here’s a look a what’s in store.