Body-in-bin murder case: Sam was a ‘social butterfly’

A court has heard how a Stevenage woman whose body was found dumped in a bin in Edinburgh, was a trusting “social butterfly”.

The jury hearing the murder case of former Archer Road resident Samantha Wright, whose remains were found in a back garden wheelie bin in 2009 after going missing 16 months earlier, has heard from friends who described her as a pleasant extrovert.

Kenneth Given, 29, told the Scottish High Court that he met the 24-year-old former Bedwell Primary and Nobel School pupil at an Edinburgh pool hall in May 2008, a month before she went missing.

“I thought she was extroverted, pleasant, outgoing, friendly,” he said.

He described seeing her at a soup kitchen a week later: “She was a bit like a social butterfly…drift from table to table speaking to folk she did not know. She was very trusting of people.”

Mr Given gave Samantha his address and she turned up a couple of hours later and stayed the night. No sex took place.

She left in the morning to get alcohol and said she would be back, but never returned, he said.

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Simon Sawers, told the court he began a relationship with Samantha in May 2008 and was devastated when she suddenly broke off contact with him. He said he spent several weeks looking for her, but could find no trace.

“I assumed she had left me and I was pretty devastated for a while afterwards,” the 24-year-old said Leith man said.

Robert Chalmers, 59, denies murdering Ms Wright on June 12 or 13 2008 at a house in the Duddingston area of Edinburgh.

He also pleaded not guilty to a charge of attempting to defeat the ends of justice by trying to dismember her body and concealing in the property and then in a bin.

Chalmers submitted a defence of incrimination, naming a witness in the case, Vasile Ungureanu.

The case continues.