Oil worker Steven Donaldson wanted his former girlfriend to repay him £3,000 in a cash dispute over a written-off car, a murder trial heard yesterday.
Witness Paige Jolly, 20, said her friend Tasmin Glass had told her her ex was demanding the money shortly before he was found dead in June last year.
She was giving evidence on day three of the trial of 20-year-old Glass and 24-year-olds Steven Dickie and Callum Davidson, all of Kirriemuir, at the High Court in Edinburgh.
The three are accused of murdering Mr Donaldson, 27, from Arbroath.
Miss Jolly said Glass had confided in her about her financial difficulties with her ex.
“She said it was something to do about three grand of his money. He said he was wanting the money back and her mum was going to do it,” she said.
“She said she was going to transfer it into her mum’s account so she could give it to him. It was so she didn’t have to meet him.”
Another witness, Billie Malley, 20, said she had been friendly with Glass for a number of years and that Donaldson had bought her a Volkswagen Scirocco car.
Miss Malley told the trial Glass asked her for money, adding: “I knew she was due Steven money for the insurance, the insurance money for the car that had been written off.”
The trial also heard evidence from building site nightwatchman Colin Chalmers about a phone call from Callum Davidson on the night of June 6 last year asking for “back-up”.
He said there was a suggestion that “a boy Donaldson was coming through from Arbroath with a squad threatening someone”.
Mr Chalmers, 43, said he had known Davidson’s family for decades and had known the accused since he was a youngster.
In a statement given to police on June 10 – three days after Mr Donaldson’s body was found – Mr Chalmers said: “He (Davidson) asked if I could help him because a boy Donaldson was coming through from Arbroath with a squad threatening someone.
“I said yes, but I said I was working. He never came to my house and I never gave him any weapons.”
The court heard Mr Chalmers had a missed call at 1.47am the following day from a number he did not recognise.
It was later found to be from a phone associated with someone called Claire Ogston, who the court previously heard was Davidson’s girlfriend.
He said: “It rang out, then maybe an hour later a text message came through and said you’ll get Callum on his phone or Steven, which I thought was a bit strange because I’d never had Steven’s number.”
Questioned by Davidson’s defence advocate Jonathan Crowe, Mr Chalmers said he got the impression Davidson was “worried”.
“I’ve always told him to stay out of bother,” he added.
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.