The carers of a missing woman who has not been seen for almost two decades have appeared in court charged with her murder.

Margaret Fleming was reported missing in October 2016 from her home in Inverkip, Inverclyde, but has allegedly not been seen since December 1999.

Edward Cairney, 77, and Avril Jones, 59, appeared at the High Court in Glasgow today accused of murdering Ms Fleming, who would now be 38.

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Both deny the murder and have pled not guilty to charges of abduction and assault, assault to injury, murder, fraud, theft and attempting to defeat the ends of justice.

It is alleged the pair fraudulently claimed £182,000 in benefits while living at Seacroft, Inverkip, Inverclyde, by pretending Ms Fleming was still living there to officials from the Department for Work and Pensions.

It is also alleged they disposed of, destroyed or concealed the remains and personal effects of Ms Fleming between December 18, 1999 and October 26, 2017.

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They are accused of trying to board a train to London on October 25, 2017 while carrying £3,500 in bank notes and the keys to a safe deposit box in London that contained £27,000.

Cairney is also accused of assaulting another woman at a property in Inverkip on November 26, 1997.

Jones is charged with breaching her bail conditions, after making contact with a witness on November 17, 2018.

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Lord Matthews said the trial is expected to last six weeks and adjourned the trial until tomorrow.