A retired couple told today how they thought the bloody body of a young Ardrossan woman dumped by the side of a country road was a mannequin.

Elaine Bailey said her attention was first drawn to site of the horror find in Perthshire by the “appalling” amount of litter on the verge.

But when she looked over the low stone wall she said she “caught sight of something that looked a bit strange”.

The 55-year-old hillwalker told a murder trial: “There was curve of something that didn’t look like the rest of the rubbish and I realised it was a person.

“The person was face down and with one leg slightly raised. It almost looked like they were almost in a recovery position. It was more face down than recovery.”

She said she called out: “It’s a person” to her husband Stephen, 59, who was walking a few yards in front of her.

She said: “We're both experienced first aiders. I leaned over the wall and shouted twice because that’s the normal routine when there is someone in trouble. There was no response.

“I thought it was a male, as did my husband. The clothing was very dark – hipster type jeans and a black bomber jacket. He seemed to have quite long legs.

“We just made an assumption that it was young male.” She said she did not touch the body.

She explained: “Normally in first aid you’d rock their shoulders but there was instinctively something very wrong here.

“There was a lot of matted blood. It looked like hair colour at first then I realised it was a lot of dried blood at the base of the head, on the neck.

“There were flies on that bit. It was all in the hair on the person’s right hand side because there was the back of an ear peeking out. It was blood.

“We knew we had to call the emergency services but we did have a bit of a reality check. We could see a hand but it looked artificial.

“We thought someone might have dumped a mannequin so my husband prodded it with a walking sick. It wasn’t, so we dialled 999.”

She said a police constable arrived from Auchterarder police station within 10 minutes and told them to go and sit in their car.

Lots of other different units of the police then arrived and the couple, from the North of Scotland, gave separate statements to officers.

Mrs Bailey was giving evidence in the trial of Jordan Johnstone, 25, and Angela Newlands, 19, both deny murdering Johnstone’s sister Annalise at the Maggie Wall Memorial – an eerie monument to a witch in Perthshire ­ by repeatedly stabbing her in the neck.

The jury has been told Annalise, 22, from Ardrossan, died within a few minutes of suffering a deep puncture wound to her neck which severed vital veins and arteries.

Giving evidence on the second day of their trial, Mrs Bailey’s husband Stephen said the couple had been staying at their timeshare apartment at Gleneagles Hotel during the holiday in Perthshire last May.

He said they had parked near a hill known as Craig Rossie, between Auchterarder and Dunning to climb it on May 10 last year.

He echoed his wife’s evidence about finding the body lying face down behind a dry stane dyke.

He admitted that he had prodded the body with his walking stick as a “reality check” to prove it wasn't a dummy.

He said: “It was my final check to see that we weren’t actually misleading each other with what we saw. We concluded that it was a body at that point I got out my map laid it on the wall in front of the body and I dialled 999.”

A recording of his 999 call in which he said he thought at first that the deceased had been struck by a car was played to the jury at the High Court in Livingston.

Questioned about his conclusion he said: “The verge is extremely narrow at that point.  There’s nowhere apart from where we parked.

“We assumed person walking down the road had dark clothing on and had been hit by a car. The person was wearing dark clothes.”

PC Harry Shemper, who was first on the scene, said he could tell by the deceased’s clothing and general body shape that it was a female.

He said: “All I could see was the deceased was lying face down and I could see a lot of blood on the head.

“My initial action was to jerk it over to see if there were signs of life but the body was rigid to the touch with Rigor mortis. Essentially that means the body had been there for some time and it had stiffened up.

“I could just see there was a lot of blood on the back of the head coming down onto the shoulder. I thought it was best to leave it in situ. There was no sign of life.

As soon as I was satisfied they were deceased I set up a cordon around the location to preserve the scene.

In addition to the murder charge, both accused are charged with attempting to defeat the ends of justice to avoid detection, arrest and prosecution for the killing.

The indictment states that they transported Annalise’s lifeless body in Johnstone’s Ford Galaxy from the memorial  and dumped her behind a stone dyke at the side of the B8062 road between Auchterarder and Dunning.

It’s also alleged that they then cleaned the vehicle, set fire to unknown material connected with the murder and falsely reported Annalise to Police as a missing person.

Johnstone is further accused of assaulting Annalise two days before she died by grabbing her and pulling her from his Ford Galaxy at Denholm Way, Beith, on May 8.

He is also charged with stealing a Hobby Caravan and its contents from Carmichael Place, Irvine on May 9.

Johnstone and Newlands both face an additional charge of assaulting Nadia Johnstone at Bank Street, Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire, on 6 May 2018.

The trial, before Lady Scott, continues.