Tayside and Central Scotland

Canal murder accused 'fainted' when he heard of death

Russell Robertson murder trial
Image caption The High Court in Glasgow heard a recording of a police interview following Russell Robertson's death

A murder accused fainted when he was told that the man he denies throwing into a canal had died, a court has heard.

Mark Munro, 31, said he was trying to help Russell Robertson and that it was his co-accused, James Robertson, 27, who flipped him over the bridge.

The pair are both accused of killing Russell Robertson by pushing him over railings at Bainsford Bridge, Falkirk, in May last year.

Both men deny the charges.

The jury at the High Court in Glasgow heard that Mr Munro, from Denny, fainted when police told him on 29 May 2016 that Russell Robertson was dead.

When asked why he had done this, he replied: "I was shocked."

Defence counsel Tony Graham, representing James Robertson, from Pitlochry, accused Mr Munro of lying and said he had given a different versions of events in court, in a prepared statement through his lawyer and during a police interview.

But the HGV driver said: "The solicitor didn't want details, just basics. He must misheard me."

'No splash'

He claimed he got confused when speaking to police because he had not slept for 40 hours.

Earlier, Mr Munro told his QC Derek Ogg that he grabbed at 27-year-old Russell Robertson's left arm as he went over railings on the bridge over the Forth and Clyde Canal.

He told the jury he did not hear a splash and thought Russell Robertson was lying in bushes.

Mr Munro also said he had seen his co-accused fighting with Russell Robertson and had to separate them.

He added: "James tried to push him over the railings. He flipped his legs up. He pushed him right over the fence."

The trial before judge Lady Carmichael continues.

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