A murder accused made a prison cell confession, boasting he had stabbed “the boy” more than 25 times, a jury was told yesterday.
But Steven Dickie, 24, flatly denied the accusation during a second day of evidence in his own defence at the High Court in Edinburgh.
He also rejected a claim that he had offered his best friend Callum Davidson, 24, a £10,000 pay-off to take the blame for killing Steven Donaldson in Kirriemuir last summer.
The pair are on trial for the murder of the 27-year-old oil worker from Arbroath, along with a third co-accused, 20-year-old Tasmin Glass.
Prosecutors allege the trio, who are all from Kirriemuir, arranged to meet Mr Donaldson — Glass’s ex-boyfriend — at the town’s Peter Pan playpark, then assaulted him.
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They are then accused of taking him to the Loch of Kinnordy nature reserve, where he was beaten with instruments before he and his car were set on fire.
All three deny the charges.
On the 15th day of the trial yesterday, tyre fitter Dickie denied being a “determined and accomplished liar” who had told “a succession of different parcels of lies” in an effort to throw the others “under the bus”.
The trial heard Dickie admit under cross examination by advocate Jonathan Crowe, counsel for Davidson, that he had assault convictions from Forfar Sheriff Court in 2016 and Perth Sheriff Court in 2017.
Dickie said he had been on remand in Perth prison since June last year and was asked by Mr Crowe about the alleged confession to a fellow inmate.
“Did you not make certain admissions that Callum (Davidson) had punched the boy and you had pulled him out of the way and stabbed him 26 times?
“Did you also say you’d offered Mr Davidson £10,000 to take the blame and were you boasting to a certain extent about killing the boy?” asked Mr Crowe.
“Absolutely not,” replied Dickie.
In cross-examination, Mark Stewart QC, counsel for Glass, suggested to Dickie: “You have spent the entire time since June 2018 telling a parcel of lies, and not just one parcel of lies, you have told a succession of parcels of lies.
Mr Stewart asked: “Can you think of anybody right now who might be being thought of as a determined and accomplished liar?”
Dickie replied: “You might be thinking that of me.”
Mr Stewart told him: “You are prepared to say anything at all about anyone at all in an attempt to get yourself out from what you were involved in with Mr Donaldson on the sixth of June last year.”
“No, I didn’t do it,” Dickie replied.
He was also questioned by Crown prosecutor, advocate depute Ashley Edwards QC, who said jurors had heard Dickie described as a “thug, a bully and an accomplished liar.”
She suggested he and Davidson were “a team, working together to make people feel threatened, under threat”.
She added: “You were not bothered who saw you carrying out that kind of behaviour.”
Dickie said: “I’m not going to take hassle from somebody and not give them it back.”
Turning to the night of June 6, the advocate depute put it to Dickie that there had been a conversation and a phone call with Glass, with whom he was having a sexual relationship, about Mr Donaldson and that “you and Callum Davidson were to be a team again that night.”
“She said to you ‘can you sort the situation’ and you agreed?”
“No,” Dickie responded.
The trial continues.
The charge faced by the accused Steven Dickie, Callum Davidson and Tasmin Glass alleges that between June 6 and 7 2018 at the Peter Pan playpark, Kirriemuir and Loch of Kinnordy nature reserve car park, they assaulted Mr Donaldson and arranged to meet him with the intention of assaulting him, and once there repeatedly struck him on the head and body with unknown instruments, and thereafter took him to Loch of Kinnordy where they repeatedly struck him on the head and body with a knife and baseball bat or similar instruments, repeatedly struck him on the head and neck with an unknown heavy bladed instrument and set fire to him and his motor vehicle, registered S73 VED, and murdered him.
Dickie and Davidson face four other charges including one of behaving in a threatening manner towards two men between January 2014 and June 2018 by making threats, following them on foot and in a motor vehicle, presenting weapons and acting in a threatening manner.
They are also charged with behaving in a threatening manner towards a man in St Malcolm’s Wynd, Kirriemuir, and elsewhere between December 1 2017 and February 28 2018 by following him on foot and in a vehicle, and threatening him with weapons.
Both also deny following and staring at a woman and kicking her car in Kirriemuir between August 1 2017 and April 31 2018.
Davidson faces a further charge of assaulting a man between June 1 2017 and December 31 2017 at a house in Glengate, Kirriemuir, by pushing him to the floor and threatening to punch him.
Dickie is also accused of assaulting a woman at the Ogilvy Arms pub in Kirriemuir between February 1 and 28 last year by seizing her by the wrist and neck and threatening her with violence.