Glasgow & West Scotland

Shooting witness: 'I saw blood and a hole in his head'

Euan Johnston Image copyright Police Scotland
Image caption Euan Johnston died in hospital after being shot in Glasgow

A former soldier has told a murder trial he saw blood on his friend and a hole in his head.

Brian McMahon said he was sitting at a red traffic light with Euan Johnston and the first he knew something was wrong was when the driver's side window shattered.

Passenger Mr McMahon, told prosecutor Alex Prentice QC that he never heard any gunshots.

Anthony Ruthven, 33, and David Scott, 33, deny murdering Mr Johnston.

Mr Ruthven also denies separate charges of attempted murder and assault in connection with alleged incidents on 12 August 2016.

Mr McMahon, from Glasgow, told the jury at the High Court in Glasgow: "The window smashed in and we shot forward and crashed into traffic lights and a barrier."

Mr Prentice asked: "What did you see when the car came to rest," and Mr McMahon, who served in the Scots Guards, replied: "Blood on Euan."

He was then asked: "Was there blood on you," and said: "Yes."

Mr McMahon told the jurors that Mr Johnston was "unresponsive" and added: "I was shouting on him."

'A hole'

The witness told the court that he got out of the passenger seat and walked round to the driver's side and opened the door.

He added: "I tried to see what was wrong.

"At the side of Euan's head there was a hole."

Mr Prentice asked Mr McMahon: "What was your emotional condition," and he replied: "Not good. I kept shouting 'Euan' to see if I could get an answer. "

Image copyright Google
Image caption The men had eaten at the Red Pepper in St Andrews Road

The court was told that a man called David Green, who knew both Mr McMahon and Mr Johnston, turned up at the scene on 15 November last year.

Mr McMahon said: "He asked what had happened. I said 'Euan, I think he's been shot."

Mr Prentice asked the witness: "Is that the conclusion you came to," and he replied: "Yes."

The prosecutor then said: "Even though you said you didn't hear the sound of gunfire," and he replied: "No, I didn't."

Mr McMahon said that he phoned for an ambulance and was then asked if Mr Johnston was breathing and replied: "Very slightly."

The witness said that he was told by the 999 operator to try to stem the blood and took off his zipper jacket and put it on Mr Johnston's head.

Mr McMahon, 31, who said that he had known Mr Johnston all his life, said that they had decided to go out for something to eat.

Heroin supply

CCTV footage of the two men eating a meal in the Red Pepper restaurant in St Andrews Road, Glasgow, was played in court.

Mr Prentice asked: "Were you sitting next to the window and would someone looking in see you?"

Mr McMahon replied: "Yes."

Jurors also saw Mr Johnston pay for the meal.

Minutes after driving off at 23:37, Mr Johnston was shot.

Mr McMahon told the court that as far as he knew Mr Johnston did not work apart from helping out from time to time at the London Road car wash.

Donald Findlay QC, defending Ruthven, said: "Mr Johnston never had a proper job in his life, he had a nice car and was never short of money was he," and Mr McMahon replied: "No."

'I nipped that EJ'

The QC then asked: "How much money was in his pockets the day he died. It might be as much as £4,000," and Mr McMahon said: "I've no idea."

The jury heard that, at the time of his death, Mr Johnston was on an indictment along with Mr McMahon and Gary Bradburn accused of being concerned in the supply of heroin.

Mr McMahon told the court that Mr Johnston was not security conscious and did not take steps to protect himself.

David Callander, 31, from Glasgow, who has learning difficulties and ADHD, told police in an interview that he was in a Glasgow flat where he heard Ruthven say: 'Bang, I nipped that EJ. We pulled up at the lights and I f***ing shot him. I was sitting in the back passenger seat and I put the window down and done him."

However, in evidence Mr Callander denied ever being in the flat or hearing Ruthven say anything.

He was asked by Mr Prentice: "Did you answer the police questions," and Mr Callander replied: "Aye, but I didn't understand them. I just agreed with them. They were telling me what to say."

The trial before judge Lady Stacey continues.

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