Murder accused Steven Dickie told detectives: “I know for a fact Tasmin has put him up to it” during a lengthy interview which led to him being charged in connection with the killing of Arbroath man Steven Donaldson.
Dickie was questioned for more than five hours at Dundee police HQ, a week on from the discovery of 27-year-old Mr Donaldson’s body at Loch of Kinnordy RSPB reserve, near Kirriemuir.
Dickie, Callum Davidson and Tasmin Glass all deny murdering Mr Donaldson by attacking him and setting fire to him and his car on June 6 or 7 last year.
On the 12th day of the Edinburgh High Court trial, a police witness was cross-examined about the interview he and a colleague conducted with Dickie, which ran into the early hours of June 15 when Dickie was charged with Mr Donaldson’s murder.
Sergeant Nicolas Searle agreed with a suggestion by defence advocate Jonathan Crowe, counsel for Davidson, that in the initial stages of the lengthy interview, Dickie was being “flippant and somewhat disrespectful” towards the police officers.
“He wasn’t taking things seriously,” Mr Searle told the court.
The officer agreed that in his interview, Dickie said he saw Davidson lunge through the window of a white car parked at Kirrie Hill, but he did not see Davidson hit Mr Donaldson, and did not know where the BMW had gone from the car park.
The witness was also referred to a point in the statement when Dickie was asked about calls from Tasmin Glass, including one just after 11pm on June 6.
Dickie told police in the interview: “I maybe phoned her to find out what the **** was going on, I don’t think she answered.”
Mr Crowe asked: “Did it cross your mind that Mr Dickie might have an interest in protecting himself with some of the things he was telling you?”
“Yes,” replied the witness.
Under cross-examination by Mark Stewart QC, counsel for Glass, the police witness was referred to the part of the interview in which Dickie said: “I know for a fact Tasmin has put him up to it.”
Asked by police what he meant, Dickie replied: “He wouldn’t go up on his own back.”
Mr Stewart asked the witness: “You asked him, do you have proof of that, and he said no?”
Mr Searle confirmed that was the interview response from the accused.
Re-examined by advocate depute Ashley Edwards, the officer agreed Dickie had been asked if he had heard any conversation relating to that part of the statement and he told police he could not provide any further details.
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 whereby he was incapacitated, 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 putting a kitten in a bag in Main Street, Lochore, Fife on an occasion between February 1 and May 31 2017, swinging the bag about and punching and kicking the kitten; 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.