Defendant denies boasting of sex with murdered Stevenage woman

A man accused of murdering 24-year-old Samantha Wright and hiding her body in a wheelie bin has denied boasting about his sexual exploits with a woman called Sammy.

Robert Chalmers, 59, told the jury at The High Court in Edinburgh that there was no truth in claims by workmates who were employed with him to renovate a pub in the city that he had “shagged” someone called Sammy.

Questioned about whether he boasted of his sexual exploits in general, Chalmers replied: “Every man does that on building sites.”

The father-of-eleven was captured on CCTV in the city centre apparently chatting to Samantha on the last day she was seen alive in June 2008.

Chalmers admitted it was him in the images, but could not remember the encounter.

But Chalmers, known locally as Papa Smurf because of his white beard, denied taking her back to his home in the Duddingston area of the city - where Samantha’s partly clothed body was found 16 months later.

The jury heard that to get there, Chalmers would have to walk past a busy chip shop and Chinese take-away and along a path overlooked by neighbouring flats.

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“Do you think you could walk down Magdalene Drive with someone as vibrant as Samantha Wright without attracting the attention of people there?” asked the defence, referring to Chalmers’ “Santa Claus beard.”

“No I don’t,” he said.

Chalmers denies murdering the former Archer Road resident “by means unknown” and a charge of attempting to defeat the ends of justice by trying to dismember her body and failing to alert the police after the alleged murder.

Chalmers blames another man, Romanian Big Issue seller Vasile Ungureanu.

The trial continues.