An Irishman has gone on trial in Scotland accused of battering his mother to death before dismembering her body and burying the remains at an Edinburgh beauty spot.

James Dunleavy, also known as Seamus, denies killing his mother, who was from Marino in Dublin.

Philomena Dunleavy’s remains were discovered by a cyclist on Corstorphine Hill.

The 66-year-old was only identified after officers produced a reconstruction of her face.

Her son was later charged with her murder on dates between 30 April and 7 May 2013.

Aaron McLean-Foreman, 24, the cyclist who discovered the remains, told the High Court in Edinburgh today that the discovery left him in shock and disbelief.

He told the jury that it was some time before he could compose himself enough to go to police and report the find.

The prosecution alleges that James Dunleavy murdered his mother at his home on Balgreen Road, before dismembering her body, and burying it at Corstorphine Hill.

He is also accused of trying to cover up the murder, by pretending his mother was unwell and had returned to Ireland.

The 39-year-old denies all the charges.

The trial is expected to last up to four weeks.