Glasgow & West Scotland

James Simpson trial: Car theft accused's memory 'hazy'

James Simpson
Image caption James Simpson died after the incident at his home in Ashgill, South Lanarkshire

A man accused of helping to steal an OAP's car - which was allegedly used to kill him - told police his memory of the day was "hazy" due to alcohol.

William MacVicar gave the statement to police after James Simpson, 76, died outside his home in Ashgill, South Lanarkshire, on 29 November 2011.

At the High Court in Glasgow, the 24-year-old denies conspiracy to steal cars and evade justice.

His co-accused Christopher Grenfell, 25, denies murdering Mr Simpson.

It is claimed that Mr Grenfell and Mr MacVicar broke into Mr Simpson's home and stole a set of keys before taking his Land Rover.

'Mad rumours'

Mr Grenfell has previously offered to plead guilty to a charge of culpable homicide for driving the vehicle over the pensioner when he tried to stop the alleged robbery.

The jury heard of a statement Mr MacVicar gave to police after Mr Simpson's death.

Mr MacVicar claimed that he had read on Facebook "about a man that was killed in Ashgill".

He said there had also been "mad rumours" on the social networking site that "the guy had been stabbed".

Mr MacVicar also added that his recollection of the day Mr Simpson died was "hazy" as he had been drinking.

Crush injuries

Earlier, the court heard how Mr Simpson died after suffering fatal crush injuries.

Road traffic officer PC Ewan Thomson, who helped compile a report during the investigation, was asked by Mr Grenfell's QC Ian Duguid what the weight of a Land Rover was.

The officer replied: "Around two tonnes. This (Mr Simpson's vehicle) was a decent specification, so perhaps a little more."

Prosecutor Andrew Stewart QC is expected to formally close the Crown case on Monday before the jury will learn if any defence evidence will be heard.

The trial, before Judge Lord Burns, continues.

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