NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Aberdeen murder accused Bohdan Cieslar 'would not have have taken on man who died'

Donside Court
Image caption The incident happened in Aberdeen's Donside Court

A man accused of murder in Aberdeen has told a court he would never have thought of taking on the man who died.

Bohdan Cieslar, 59, denies murdering Aleksander Smerdel, 44, in December last year at Donside Court by repeatedly striking him with a knife.

He claims he acted in self-defence.

At the High Court in Edinburgh, Mr Cieslar agreed Mr Smerdel was taller, heavier and much younger than he was, and added: "He was capable of lifting heavy sofas."

Defence counsel Ian Duguid QC asked if he would ever think of taking Mr Smerdel on in a fight, and he replied: "Never."

He told the court that Mr Smerdel went to grab him by the neck and he fell onto a computer table with a knife in his right hand.

'Fell onto it'

He said the other man lost his balance and fell next to him and he thought the knife had entered his stomach.

Mr Duguid asked him: "How did it enter his body?". Mr Cieslar replied: "He fell onto it."

He said that Mr Smerdel sustained a further injury to his arm when he got up and wanted to hit him as he was shielding his head.

Cieslar said it all happened very quickly but he then saw blood spurting from Mr Smerdel's arm. He said the other man took a step or two in his direction before leaving the room.

He told the court through a Polish translator: "I wasn't aware it was fatal."

The trial, before Lord Pentland, continues.

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