Tayside and Central Scotland

Bridge murder trial told of man in water

High Court in Glasgow
Image caption A witness told the High Court in Glasgow that he was unable to identify any of the men

A lifeguard has told a murder trial that he saw two men grab another man's legs on a bridge and try to "put him over into the water".

Mark Munro, 31, and James Robertson, 27, are accused of killing Russell Robertson by pushing him over railings at Bainsford Bridge, Falkirk.

It is alleged that they repeatedly punched Mr Robertson on the hands and prised his fingers from the bridge railings in May last year.

Both men deny the charges.

Appearing as a witness at the High Court in Glasgow, lifeguard Cameron Binnie, 19, told prosecutor Alan Cameron that he was waiting at a bus stop with friends near the bridge.

He said they were texting friends and taxi firms at about 03:20 trying to get a lift home when he saw three men on the bridge.

'Mucking about'

Mr Binnie told the jury: "It looked like play fighting, one of the men had another man in a headlock. I thought it was pals just mucking about."

Mr Binnie said he saw the two men grab the other man's legs.

He added: "It looked to me that they were trying to put him over into the water. I saw them either side of him trying to get his hands off the railing. He was over the barrier and hanging on the railing."

Mr Binnie said the man went into the water and the two other men walked away towards Falkirk town centre.

Mr Cameron asked if he saw any sign of a person in the canal. Mr Binnie said he did not, and told the court he was unable to identify any of the men.

Police statements

The court heard there was no mention of the man's hands being prised from the railings of the bridge in any of Mr Binnie's three police statements.

Defence counsel Derek Ogg QC, representing Mr Munro, said: "The only rational explanation is that you never saw such a thing, isn't that correct?" to which Mr Binnie agreed.

Another witness told the trial that both accused were seen standing on either side of the bridge around 03:20.

The trial before judge Lady Carmichael continues.