MURDER accused Graham McGill confessed that he killed “a woman” he met in a pub, his former wife told the court.

Suzanne Russell, 55, from Glasgow, was giving evidence in the trial of McGill who denies assaulting Mary with intent to rape and murdering her on September 26 or 27, 1984 at her flat in Crathie Court, Glasgow.

She told prosecutor Alex Prentice QC: “He said he was round the pub for a drink and he said a woman wouldn’t leave him alone and kept pestering him.

“He decided to go back to her flat with her. He said he murdered her.

“He said he strangled her and said he just wanted to know what it felt like to kill someone.

“He said he used her tights and said he was shocked how long it took to actually murder her.”

READ MORE: Mary McLaughlin murder trial: Victim was strangled by her own dressing gown, jury told

The High Court in Glasgow heard that McGill and Ms Russell were in a relationship from 1985 and married in 1993.

Ms Russell claimed that the conversation took place in 1988.

Mr Prentice asked her: “Did you say something to him? “ and she replied: “Yes, were you not worried the police would be after you. He said ' no not at all'.”

The prosecutor then said: “Did he give a reason why?,” and the witness replied: “He said he wasn’t worried about it as she had no one and was more like a prostitute.

Ms Russell was asked her reaction to this and said: “I didn’t believe him. He threatened me and said if I ever told anyone he would kill me and if I ever reported it or tried to leave him that’s what would happen.”

Under cross-examination by defence counsel Sarah Livingstone asked Ms Russell if she wanted McGill to get into trouble and she replied: “No.”

Miss Livingstone asked: “The confession didn't happen did it?”

She replied: “I didn't know if it happened but he said it did.

Miss Livingston said: “You didn't believe he murdered anyone?”

She replied: “I didn't believe him, I was only told and I wasn't allowed to report.”

READ MORE: Mary McLaughlin murder trial: Son reveals how his mum's body was found 36 years ago in Glasgow flat

Meanwhile DNA matching McGill was found on the inside of a knot on the dressing gown cord used to strangle Mary, a forensic scientist told the court.

The court heard DNA attributed to 59-year-old McGill was also found on Mary McLaughlin's dress, on a cigarette butt and a black bra found outside her home.

The court also heard that Mary was found dead on her bed with the cord wrapped tightly round her neck on October 2, 1984.

The last reported sightings of her were on the evening of September 26, 1984.

Over the years a number of forensic investigations were undertaken to try to find DNA other than Mary's from items found at the scene.

Joanne Cochrane said that the ligature had been examined previously, but there was one knot in the cord which had never been opened.

She told prosecutor Alex Prentice QC: “We felt that within the knot might be protected from contamination. We felt there was a possibility of receiving DNA from within the knot. We did it very slowly and took photographs at all stages. It was very difficult to unfasten.”

The court heard that previous examinations of the cord had only found Mary's DNA and a trace DNA that it was then not possible to analyse.

Mrs Cochrane said that the latest analysis carried out by her and a colleague found a mixed DNA profile with a major profile attributed to Mary and a minor one to McGill.

She told jurors that the likelihood of the DNA being belonging to someone other than McGill was 85,000 to one.

The chance of DNA on the cigarette butt and the dress not being from McGill was one billion to one and for the bra it was 320 to one.

The court has heard that the cord had been tightly wrapped round Mary's neck three times and pathologists said the cause of death was ligature strangulation.

Defence counsel Sarah Livingstone asked Mrs Cochrane: “One explanation of your finding is that Graham McGill could have tied the knot,” and she replied: “Yes.”

Ms Livingstone then said: “What you are not saying is that Graham McGill tied the knot,” and the forensic scientist replied: “No, we are considering it as one explanation.”

Mrs Cochrane. also admitted when challenged by Ms Livingstone that it was impossible to say when DNA was deposited on an item.

McGill faces a further charge of threatening to murder Suzanne Russell and children at 218 Watling Street, Motherwell between January 1, 1985 and December 31, 1988.

He denies all the charges against him.

The trial before judge Lord Burns continues.