Man due in court was seen on CCTV with victim outside nightclub

Police confirmed on Tuesday they had spoken to him about Karen Buckley’s disappearance

The man due to appear in court on Friday in connection with Karen Buckley’s death is a 21-year-old man who was seen with her outside Sanctuary nightclub early on Sunday morning.

Police identified the man from CCTV footage from outside the nightclub and they confirmed on Tuesday that they had spoken to him about Ms Buckley’s disappearance.

Det Supt Jim Kerr stressed that at that stage, police were not treating the man as a suspect but simply as a witness who was helping them with their inquiries.

“We have traced that man (seen with Ms Buckley on the CCTV footage outside Sanctuary), who claims he was intimate with her consensually in the early hours of Sunday,” he said.

“We only have one person’s version of events thereafter and believe she left there at 4am to go home to Hill Street. He thought she was going to get some form of transport home.

“At the end of the day, this man is a witness and is assisting in our inquiries as are other members of the public. He has been entirely co-operative with us.”

The man’s mother had told The Daily Record on Wednesday that her son was innocent and again stressed that he is not a suspect in the investigation into Ms Buckley’s disappearance.

Her son had told police that Ms Buckley had left his flat at 4am on Sunday morning to go home but police had no verification of this despite claims that she was seen by other witnesses.

A police spokesman confirmed to The Irish Times that the last confirmed sighting of Ms Buckley alive was when she was leaving Sanctuary nightclub around 1am on Sunday.

However, the 21 year old man, who was detained by police about 6pm on Wednesday and then formally arrested at 4am on Thursday, was known to police in Glasgow previously.

The director of a courier firm, he grew up in the affluent leafy suburb of Bearsden where the red sandstone Edwardian houses can fetch as much as £1 million stg.

But when his parents separated, it is understood that he moved with his mother from Bearsden to Dryden some 20km north west of Glasgow near scenic Loch Lomond.

He attended a private fee-paying school. It is understood that in November 2011 the young man was involved in a serious car crash and was put in an induced coma for three to four weeks and suffered a broken hip and ribs.

He could not walk for six months and was on crutches for a year afterwards and after he was discharged from hospital, he received disability living allowance as he could not work.