An Angus murder accused told his mother he watched two men stab his girlfriend to death before he was forced to wipe his hands in her blood.
Farm worker Keith Rizzo is accused of stabbing and choking Neomi Smith, 23, at her Brechin flat in the early hours of June 9 last year.
The care worker was found covered in blood with numerous stab wounds to her neck and head and could not be revived by paramedics.
On day six of his trial at the High Court in Glasgow on Friday, Rizzo’s mother Frances recalled a conversation with her son during a meeting at Perth prison following his arrest.
Ms Rizzo said he told her the two men were inside the Swan Street property when he returned from a night out.
The pair said Miss Smith owed them a considerable amount of money before “pinning Keith to the wall”, she said.
“Keith said the man told him ‘this is what happens to people who don’t pay us what they owe us’”, she said.
“He said the man nearest Neomi gave her a very hard punch to the side of the head.
“He said Neomi fell forward and he just started poking the knife in to her.”
Ms Rizzo said her son, 23, claimed the two men swapped places and the other man continued stabbing his girlfriend.
After this stopped, Rizzo reportedly said the man placed the knife in his hand and made him wipe it on his jeans then took his hand and placed it in the blood before wiping it on his top.
Ms Rizzo said her son told her he was led to the shower by the man and forced inside.
She said Rizzo claimed he called out to the men “you’re not going to get away with this”, to which the larger of the pair responded “this isn’t the first time we’ve done this”.
According to the conversation, he came out of the shower to find the two men had vanished and his girlfriend was unresponsive.
During the same meeting on June 27, Ms Rizzo said her son had seen Miss Smith hand over a “wad of cash” to one of the men, who was wearing a scarf over his face, at Brechin Business Park in late May 2019.
Earlier, jurors were shown the second half of a three hour interview with police in which Rizzo said he could never hurt Miss Smith.
Several witnesses have said they saw the couple arguing furiously at local bar Hudsons before Ms Smith went home, later followed by Rizzo.
As he was quizzed by detectives, he said: “I spoke to her for a bit in the kitchen and then went for a shower.
“That’s when I heard the bangs and went through and found her.
“I saw the knife and removed it. I said ‘we will get help, we’ll get help’.
“She was holding my hand. She said ‘I love…’ and then there was nothing.”
Rizzo denies the charges.
The trial, before Lady Rae, continues.