Teens In Court Accused Of Double Murder
24 August 2015, 14:40
Two teenagers have gone on trial for a double murder in West Lothian including the death of a pensioner.
Paul Erskine and Andrew Moran, both 19, are alleged to have killed Harry Reekie on September 16, 2014 at Lothian Street, Bathgate.
They are also accused of murdering Steven Mitchell at Marmion Road, in the same town on September 16 or 17, last year.
The High Court in Glasgow heard from Mr Reekie's upstairs neighbour George Campbell who went to help and called paramedics when the injured man was shouting.
Mr Campell, 60, a fleet supervisor for West Lothian Council, told how he saw 65-year-old Mr Reekie through his kitchen window a "saturated in blood".
The witness said he and his partner, Catherine Watson, 51, had been woken up by her son, Grant, who heard shouts for help from below them.
Mr Campbell said Mrs Watson woke him up and told him Mr Reekie was shouting for help.
The court heard that Mr Reekie had previously told Mr Campbell he had stomach problems so he initially thought that's what was wrong.
He told the jury: "As I was going down the stairs I heard a shout for help again."
Mr Campbell said he couldn't open Mr Reekie's door but saw the kitchen window open wide, which he thought was strange.
Advocate depute Angela Gray, prosecuting, asked what Mr Campbell could see when he looked in the window and saw his neighbour.
He claimed he saw Mr Reekie covered in blood and said his top and shorts he had on were "saturated in blood"
She asked: "Can you describe for the ladies and gentlemen the way in which Harry was sitting in the chair?"
Mr Campbell replied: "He was sitting facing towards the television but holding himself and holding his neck."
He added: "I was speaking to the caller, the controller who was speaking to me. He (Harry) told me he had been stabbed, the controller told me to tell him, to put pressure on the wound."
Mr Campbell said:"I was shocked when he said he was stabbed."
Asked to describe how Mr Reekie was he said: "Very weak, if he had stood up he would have collapsed because he had lost so much blood."
The court heard that while waiting on paramedics arriving Mr Reekie was saying "hurry up" and groaning.
Mr Campbell claimed he went in to the house once the paramedic arrived and climbed through the window to access the house.
He said he took the paramedic's bag into the house for him once the front door had been opened from the inside.
The jury heard that while being tended to, Mr Reekie asked the paramedic to take off what was round his neck.
Mr Campbell described there being "black and yellow hazard tape" round his neck.
The court was told that after leaving the house that morning, Mr Reekie never returned because he died in January 2015.
The witness said he and his partner visited Mr Reekie in hospital a short time after he was admitted and that their neighbour gave some more information about the incident.
Mr Campbell told the jury: "He was at the door chapping for help, he said they came back and had another go, while he was chapping on the door.."
Ms Gray asked: "Did he tell you who was responsible for what happened to him?"
He replied: "No, he didn't say who did it, he just said there was a thin one and a heavy built guy, he said he could have taken the thin guy on but he couldn't have taken the heavy guy, but no names were mentioned."
Paramedic Kenneth Bonner told the court Mr Reekie said â€œtwo young laddiesâ€ carried out an attack on him.
He said that he saw three stab wounds on Mr Reekie's torso and further wounds on his groin and his left arm.
The paramedic also said that there was "gaffa tape" tight round his neck that Mr Reekie asked him to take off of him, and tape round his right wrist.
Erskine and Moran deny all the charges they face and Erskine's dad, also Paul Erskine, 46, denies attempting to defeat the ends of justice by concealing blood stained clothes and a knife that's claimed to have been used.
The trial before judge Lord Kinclaven continues.