A MAN has gone on trial accused of murdering Emma Caldwell nearly 19 years ago.

Iain Packer, 50, is accused of strangling Miss Caldwell with his hands and a cable, assaulting her, compressing her wrists, intending to rape her and murdering her at an area of woodland known as Limefield Woods in South Lanarkshire on April 5, 2005.

He is further charged with attempting to defeat the ends of justice by allegedly disposing of Miss Caldwell’s body, her mobile phone, clothing and personal belongings, as well as cleaning the interior of a car which belonged to him.

The jury was sworn in at the High Court in Glasgow on Tuesday, with judge Lord John Beckett advising the trial is estimated to last around six or seven weeks.

On Tuesday afternoon, a joint minute of agreed facts in the case was read by advocate Cat MacQueen, prosecuting.

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It laid out evidence which jurors will be shown throughout the trial, including pictures, CCTV, financial statements and soil samples from the area where Miss Caldwell was found as well as from Packer’s vehicle.

MacQueen said Miss Caldwell’s death certificate has her cause of death as compression to the neck.

At the time of her death, on April 5, 2005, Miss Caldwell was living in hostel accommodation in Glasgow city centre.

She left on the evening of April 4, 2005 and did not return to the hostel again.

Packer faces 46 charges in total against 27 other women and four males, including 11 alleged rapes and charges of alleged assault, abduction, indecent assault and sexual assault.

He denies all charges against him and has lodged special defences of consent, defence of another and self-defence.

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He denies murdering Miss Caldwell under the defence of incrimination.

The alleged offences are said to have taken place between 1990 and 2016, with a number of the alleged crimes involving other women also said to have taken place at Limefield Woods.

Among the other charges Packer faces is an accusation of lewd or libidinous practice towards a girl who was aged 14 or 15 at the time.

Three men and one boy aged 15 at the time are listed in the charges as victims of alleged assaults.

Miss Caldwell was last seen between 12.30am and 1.30am on April 5, 2005, on London Road, Glasgow, and was reported missing by her family five days later.

The body of the 27-year-old, who had been working as a sex worker in the city, was discovered in the woods on May 8 the same year.

The trial, before Lord Beckett, continues.