Glasgow & West Scotland

Martin Toner murder trial: Accused 'saturated in blood'

Martin Toner Image copyright Police handout
Image caption Martin Toner's body was found in July 2004

The Martin Toner murder trial has been told that one of the accused was seen with a shirt "saturated in blood" on the day of the alleged killing.

Ross Agnew, 38, told the High Court in Glasgow that he did not give police this information when Mr Toner's body was found as he was too afraid.

He was giving evidence at the trial of Douglas Fleming and John McDonald.

Both men deny murdering Mr Toner, whose body was found in a field at Langbank weeks after he went missing in 2004.

Mr Fleming, 50, and Mr McDonald, 57, both of Bellahouston, Glasgow, deny murdering Mr Toner on 29 June 2004.

They are alleged to have killed him at the garden and grounds of the Coach House, at Gleddoch Estate, Langbank, and Gleddoch Estate after inducing him to travel there from the Key to Life Gym in Pollokshields, Glasgow.

Mr Toner's body was found in a field on 13 July 2004. He had been stabbed and his throat cut.

Frantic phone calls

Mr Agnew told the court that Mr Fleming, a former policeman, was living at the Coach House on Gleddoch Estate in 2004 with his sister, Pauline Agnew.

He was asked by advocate depute Alex Prentice QC, prosecuting, where he was working in June 2004 and replied: "I was doing security work at Marr Lodge at Bishopton."

The court heard that Mr Agnew started work on 29 June at 07:30.

He said that in the afternoon he began to get frantic phone calls from his father Paul Agnew, who was one of the partners at the Marr Hall development.

This was because Mr Fleming, who was one of the contractors, had failed to turn up for a meeting.

The witness said he repeatedly phoned Mr Fleming and finally spoke to him.

He added: "He said he had vehicle problems and asked me to drive in my works van to the top of the driveway at Marr Hall.

"I drove up and met him. I exited my van and he exited his blue Mercedes G-wagon. He opened his black leather jacket to reveal a shirt absolutely drenched, saturated in blood."

The witness told the court that Mr Fleming then spoke to him and claimed someone had tried to stab him, to which he replied: "Are you alright?"

'Replacement clothes'

Mr Agnew said Mr Fleming told him that he could not let his sister , Pauline Agnew, see him in that state.

He added that Mr Fleming's tie was also covered in blood.

The witness told the court that Mr Fleming asked him to go with him to Greenock.

He told Mr Prentice that Mr Fleming gave him money and asked him to buy him a similar shirt and tie to the ones he was wearing.

Once the shirt and tie had been purchased, Mr Agnew said they then drove to Halfords in Greenock where Mr Fleming bought a set of jump leads.

He said they then set off for Mr Agnew's partner's flat in Drumfrochar Road, Greenock, where he claimed Mr Fleming changed out of the bloodstained shirt.

Mr Agnew was asked why he had not gone to the police with this information after Mr Toner's body was discovered and said: "Fear. I was afraid and distressed."

He added: "This has consumed me for the last 10 years."

Mr Agnew also claimed that during the car journey to Greenock he asked Mr Fleming if there would be repercussions and was told: "He's gone, he's away."

Defence QC Derek Ogg asked Mr Agnew: "It doesn't make any sense that you should assist Mr Fleming by buying a shirt. Why should he turn to you to do a task he could do himself," and he replied: "I don't know why he asked me. I don't know his thought processes."

'Liar and fantasist'

The QC said: "The thing you haven't told us about is the smell of the blood," and Mr Agnew replied: "I don't recall any smell. I certainly couldn't smell anything."

The court heard that Mr Agnew only gave an affidavit after being questioned in 2013 by police in connection with attempting to defeat the ends of justice.

Mr Ogg accused Mr Agnew of being a liar and a fantasist who had come up with the story about the blood-soaked shirt to get himself out of trouble.

Mr Agnew denied this saying: "I'm telling the truth I have no reason to lie."

However the jury heard that Mr Agnew, who has three convictions for drink driving, claimed in his affidavit that he had no convictions.

Mr Agnew denied suggestions, put to him by Mr Ogg, that he had claimed to his family he was training to be member of the British Olympic ski squad, had alleged he was working for the Spanish Navy and had claimed he was in the British Army after being discharged for medical reasons.

Mr Fleming has lodged a special defence of incrimination against six men.

Both accused also deny a further charge of attempting to defeat the ends of justice.

The trial before Lord Armstrong continues.

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