I'VE GOT KRAFT CHEESE TRIANGLE THAT TRAPPED TWISTED KILLER MANUEL; EXCLUSIVE ASTONISHING STORY OF COP WHO ACTED AS DECOY FOR MONSTER.
A RETIRED cop yesterday displayed a piece of evidence that helped make criminal history - a cheese wrapper.
The foil and paper wrapping was a key clue that helped to send mass killer Peter Manuel to the gallows.
Yesterday, former policeman David Yule told how he became the owner of the wrapper - and other items including a button and scrap of fabric from the trousers the killer was wearing when he was hung - as a reward for his role in Scotland's "trial of the century".
He also revealed how he acted as a decoy for police to help get Manuel away as a mob screamed for his blood after his first appearance in court.
The trial heard how Manuel had calmly snacked on food, including the Kraft Dairylea cheese triangle, as his latest victims - Peter and Doris Smart and their son Michael - lay dead nearby.
Manuel, who was eventually convicted of a total of seven murders and hanged, had broken into the Smart home in Uddingston, Lanarkshire, on New Year's Day 1958 and shot them in the head as they lay in bed.
Manuel's habit of enjoying a macabre supper after his killings became notorious during his trial. But the litter he left behind helped piece together the Crown case against him.
David, 66, said: "After Manuel was hanged, the officer in charge of the case gave me some items and told me they might come in handy for me some day.
"They included the wrapping from a Kraft cheese triangle which was found at the Smart family house and produced as evidence in court.
"Manuel had gone back and forward and ate a meal while the three were
lying dead in that house.
"People have always talked about how he would eat while surrounded by the bodies like some weird ritual.
"He also stole money from the Smart family home, which he began spending in pubs and eventually helped to link him to the murders. I also have the production label from a pound note which was used in evidence.
"Manuel had used it to buy drinks in a pub."
Manuel had already killed teenager Isabelle Cooke and Marion Watt, her sister Margaret Brown and daughter Vivienne before killing the Smarts.
Many connected with the case believe the killer, who was 31 when he went to the gallows at Barlinnie jail in Glasgow, was guilty of at least 10 more murders.
David recalled: "At the time of the Manuel murders I had joined the police as a boy clerk, which was the forerunner of the cadets, and I was stationed at police HQ in Hamilton.
"By lunchtime, the police needed to get the crowds away from the court so they decided I fitted the bill to create a decoy.
"I pulled my raincoat over my head and was a wee bit upset when the papers described Manuel - me - as coming out of the court hidden by a tatty and shabby old overcoat.
"The chief inspector and a sergeant escorted me down the steps and the photographers were all snapping away.
"They put me into the Black Maria and I was driven out of the courtyard with the crowd banging on the van, spitting and shouting obscenities.
"Obviously it wasn't aimed at me, as they thought I was Manuel, but I was a bit shaken by it all the same.
"They drove me around Hamilton for a while and then dropped me at the racecourse and I had to walk back to the HQ as I had a shift to finish.
"By this time, Manuel was safely back in the cells and being prepared for his move to Barlinnie."
At his trial, Manuel also confessed to killing Anne Kneilands, 18, but the judge bizarrely instructed the jury that there was insufficient evidence to find him guilty of that murder charge.
David, who lives in Rutherglen, went on to become an inspector before he retired from the force 17 years ago to run a shop with wife Marion.
He added: "There was nothing particularly memorable about Manuel physically, other than the fact that he wasn't very tall.
"He was only about 5ft 5in and had very dark hair and dark, piercing eyes.
"I remember him politely saying, 'Good morning' to myself and my colleagues as he was led from the cells."
'I pulled my coat over my head..I got upset when the papers described it as tatty and shabby'
OFFICER: David in his prime; PAUL CHAPPELLS; THE TRIANGLE; THE DECOY; THE TROUSERS; CRIME COLLECTOR: Former cop David Yule, far left, with some of his mementoes from the trial of serial killer Peter Manuel, below, including a Dairylea cheese wrapper and cloth and a button from the twisted murderer's trousers; LEFT: David acts as a decoy during Manuel's trial