Glasgow & West Scotland

Jurors urged to convict over Mr Scotland bodybuilder death

Steven Kirkwood Image copyright Spindrift
Image caption Steven Kirkwood has lodged a special defence of self-defence

A prosecutor has told jurors there is a "compelling case" against a man accused of murdering a former Mr Scotland bodybuilding champion.

Steven Kirkwood, 44, denies murdering Michael O'Hanlon by repeatedly stabbing him at HK Autotek, Stevenston, Ayrshire, last July.

He has lodged a special defence of self-defence.

In his closing speech, prosecutor Richard Goddard said the "right thing to do" was to convict Mr Kirkwood.

The jury has heard that abusive texts and Facebook messages were being sent by Mr Kirkwood to his ex-partner Eileen O'Hanlon, who was due to marry Mr O'Hanlon in August last year.

A meeting was set up in the garage on 25 July 2016 to talk over the situation.

There was a struggle and Mr O'Hanlon was stabbed four times and died from massive blood loss.

Image copyright Facebook
Image caption Michael O'Hanlon won the National Amateur Body Building Association Mr Scotland title in March 2016

Mr Kirkwood admits stabbing him, but claims he was acting in self-defence. He said he found the knife on the floor and lashed out because he was pinned down by Mr O'Hanlon and his friend Forbes Cowan.

Mr Goddard told the jurors that Mr Kirkwood had spoken about stabbing Mr O'Hanlon and had said "I think I killed him", 45 minutes after the incident in the garage.

"We have evidence of what eye-witnesses saw, evidence of what Steven Kirkwood admitted to others what he had done in the aftermath of the incident," he told jurors.

'Strong, powerful men'

Mr Kirkwood had also posted on social media that his ex-partner Ms O'Hanlon had called him a nutcase for years and added: "I'm now going to show them nutcase."

Mr Goddard told the jury: "He started the day posting those words and ended it by stabbing Michael O'Hanlon to death."

The prosecutor added: "There is no evidence the knife was ever in anyone else's hands."

Defence QC Derek Ogg, in his closing speech, said that on the day of the incident Mr Kirkwood had found himself facing two big, powerful men - the reigning Mr Scotland bodybuilding champion Mr O'Hanlon, who was 6ft and 17 stone, and 6ft 4in Forbes Cowan, who was a runner-up in the World's Strongest Man competition.

Mr Ogg said: "These are two big, powerful, strong men. You could not get bigger and stronger men in Ayrshire than these two.

"He used what force he thought at the time was necessary to stop these two big powerful men each of whom had expressed aggression towards him.

"My client has severe arthritis. These men were not just looking for violence, but serious violence. Mr Kirkwood could only escape by going through these two men."

He added: "There was no conversation about resolving any issue. They intended to do violence and wicked violence to my client.

"These are men of such height and strength that if these two came through a door aggressively anyone would be thinking: 'This is it. I'm in for it.'"

"If you had an elephant lying there and you saw these two men coming you would go for it."

The defence QC accused Crown witnesses of being selective with their evidence.

The trial before judge Lady Rae continues.

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