A murder accused has admitted lying to police in the Steven Donaldson investigation because he didn’t want to be labelled a “grass” by getting his best pal into trouble.
On his second day of evidence at the High Court in Edinburgh, Steven Dickie said he had not been truthful during the Dundee Police HQ interview which stretched over more than five hours and led to him being charged with the killing of the 27-year-old Arbroath oil worker, along with co-accused Callum Davidson and Tasmin Glass.
He also admitted he became concerned about what might have happened at Kinnordy Loch – where he knew Davidson had gone looking for a broken baseball bat in the early hours of June 7 last year – after hearing a body and burned out car had been discovered there.
But Dickie told the 15th day of the trial: “I was sort of asking snippets, but not too much, the less I know the better.”
The 24-year-old tyre fitter told his senior counsel, Ian Duguid QC: “There were bits I was telling the truth and then I stopped myself from speaking. I didn’t want to be labelled a grass.”
He also accepted he had not been truthful in the police interview when he told police there were no other cars in the car park at Kirrie Hill on the night of June 6, after telling the court yesterday he saw Glass speed off in her vehicle when Davidson “dived” through the window of Mr Donaldson’s white BMW.
Dickie has told the court he then went back to Davidson’s house in Marywell Brae, to which his co-accused returned some time later.
He said Davidson had “scrubbed his hands in the kitchen sink” then had a cigarette, before going back to Kinnordy Loch.
His QC put to him earlier evidence of Davidson’s girlfriend, Claire Ogston, in which she had told police it was the second accused who was doing Dickie a favour by going to the loch to look for the broken bat.
“No”, replied the accused.
He said Davidson returned around 2am, took all his clothes off at the door and then went to bed.
Dickie went to work the following morning and passed a police roadblock at the end of the B951 leading to the Angus nature reserve.
When asked about hearing that a body and burned out car had been found, he told his QC: “It did start going through my mind what he’s done.
“Initially I thought it was maybe a car accident and then it clicked on that’s where Callum had went to look for the bat and I thought it might be a bit serious.”
Mr Duguid asked: “Did you think he had killed him?”
Dickie replied: “No.”
Cross-examined by advocate Jonathan Crowe, counsel for Davidson, Dickie denied being “consumed by jealousy” over Tasmin Glass – who he was in a sexual relationship with – going to meet Mr Donaldson.
“Here was a guy from Arbroath who dared to enter your world. This must have been like a red rag to a bull?” suggested Mr Crowe.
Dickie denied that was the case.
Mr Crowe continued: “What tipped the balance, was it when you learned that Tasmin Glass was pregnant with Steven Donaldson’s child?”
“I didn’t actually know she was pregnant,” said Dickie.
The advocate then put it to Dickie that after he saw Davidson lunging through the driver’s window of their alleged victim’s car at the Peter Pan playpark, he pulled him out and set about the oil worker.
“He’s the muscle, he’s the one people go to not me,” replied Dickie.
Mr Crowe continued: “En route you kept shouting to Mr Donaldson, who was lying in the back seat of the car ‘Every time you text her I get my heid nipped’ and you continued to punch him and strike him with the knife.”
“No,” said Dickie.
The advocate suggested to Dickie that at Kinnordy he had “shouted at Callum Davidson to come back and help you remove the body of Steven Donaldson because you couldn’t leave it there and if he didn’t there would be repercussions.”
“I wasn’t there,” Dickie told the court.
All three deny murdering Mr Donaldson and the trial continues.
The charge faced by the accused Steven Dickie, Callum Davidson and Tasmin Glass alleges that between June 6 and 7 2018 at the Peter Pan playpark, Kirriemuir and Loch of Kinnordy nature reserve car park, they assaulted Mr Donaldson and arranged to meet him with the intention of assaulting him, and once there repeatedly struck him on the head and body with unknown instruments, and thereafter took him to Loch of Kinnordy where they repeatedly struck him on the head and body with a knife and baseball bat or similar instruments, repeatedly struck him on the head and neck with an unknown heavy bladed instrument and set fire to him and his motor vehicle, registered S73 VED, and murdered him.
Dickie and Davidson face four other charges including one of behaving in a threatening manner towards two men between January 2014 and June 2018 by making threats, following them on foot and in a motor vehicle, presenting weapons and acting in a threatening manner.
They are also charged with behaving in a threatening manner towards a man in St Malcolm’s Wynd, Kirriemuir, and elsewhere between December 1 2017 and February 28 2018 by following him on foot and in a vehicle, and threatening him with weapons.
Both also deny following and staring at a woman and kicking her car in Kirriemuir between August 1 2017 and April 31 2018.
Davidson faces a further charge of assaulting a man between June 1 2017 and December 31 2017 at a house in Glengate, Kirriemuir, by pushing him to the floor and threatening to punch him.
Dickie is also accused of assaulting a woman at the Ogilvy Arms pub in Kirriemuir between February 1 and 28 last year by seizing her by the wrist and neck and threatening her with violence.