Tayside and Central Scotland

Falkirk canal murder co-accused 'tried to help' man

High Court in Glasgow
Image caption The High Court in Glasgow heard a recording of a police interview

A murder accused has blamed his co-accused for the death of a man in the Forth and Clyde Canal.

Mark Munro, 31, and James Robertson, 27, deny 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.

Mr Munro told detectives that he "at no point" assaulted Mr Robertson.

A trial at the High Court in Glasgow was played a recording of the police interview in which a prepared statement from Mr Munro was read out by duty solicitor James McLean.

'Like an animal'

In the statement, Mr Munro said: "I tried to help him.

"The guy had his back to the bridge railings. At this point James Robertson grabbed the guy at his feet area and flipped him over.

"He went over the bridge. I tried to keep a hold of him, but could not, so he fell.

"I looked over and saw him on the grass below and did not hear a splash.

"I looked down and thought he looked all right."

In the statement, Mr Munro said that he ran after James Robertson.

It continued: "He said: 'What have I done? What have I done?'

"I said: 'We need to get back,' and he said: 'No, just keep running.'"

Mr Munro said he had tried to calm down Mr Robertson, whom he described as being "like an animal" but, "he wasn't listening to me".

When he was charged with murder, Mr Munro told police: "I'm innocent. I did not murder nobody. I tried to help him."

The trial before judge Lady Carmichael continues.

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