A witness in the Steven Donaldson murder trial gave police a statement about overhearing talk of a plan to drive a man off the road near Kinnordy Loch and dispose of any evidence in a remote Angus reservoir.
Nicola Matthews said she heard Steven Dickie and Callum Davidson talking about Sam Wilkie – with whom she had a child before returning to long-term boyfriend Dickie – who the murder accused are charged with threatening over a period of more than four years.
On the third day of the Edinburgh High Court murder trial, Miss Matthews was cross examined by Ian Duguid QC, representing Dickie, about a statement she gave to police on June 13 last year, eleven days after 27-year-old Mr Donaldson’s body was found at Kinnordy Loch nature reserve just before 5am.
Dickie and Davidson, both 24, along with 20-year-old Tasmin Glass deny murdering Mr Donaldson by attacking him and setting him on fire in early June last year.
The two men also face a number of other charges of assault and threatening behaviour.
The trial heard there was “bad feeling” between Dickie and Mr Wilkie and, in her interview, Miss Matthews told police: “I remember one time Steven and Callum came to my house, they were on about writing Sam off the road at the Kinnordy to Kingoldrum road.
“It was just Callum that was going to get a Jeep or vehicle and he would write Sam off the road. Whatever evidence they had, Callum would throw in the Backwater reservoir,” Miss Matthews told police.
Mr Duguid asked the witness: “If I’m reading this correctly you were saying it was Callum Davidson who was saying he is going to write him off the road and throw the evidence in the Backwater Dam, is that what you’re saying?”
“Yeah,” replied Miss Matthews.
“What is Steven Dickie’s involvement in all of this?”
“I can’t remember,” the witness said.
She was also asked about an incident in which a family vehicle had been damaged by paint and it was suspected Sam Wilkie had been responsible.
During earlier evidence in chief, Miss Matthews said Dickie, who was staying with her at the time, had gone to his BMW car, taken out an axe and driven off after threatening to “chop Sam’s head off”.
Questioned by Mr Duguid, she denied ever seeing an axe or weapons in the boot of the car, which she was insured to drive.
The QC asked her if she had phoned either the police or Mr Wilkie after Dickie drove off with the weapon and she said no.
“I just thought he was angry, I didn’t think he was going to do it,” she said.
The trial continues.
The charge faced by all three accused 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 whereby he was incapacitated, 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 putting a kitten in a bag in Main Street, Lochore, Fife on an occasion between February 1 and May 31 2017, swinging the bag about and punching and kicking the kitten; 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.