Murder accused Callum Davidson told his uncle “he’s left him for dead” in a 1am phone call just hours after borrowing a baseball bat from him on the night before Steven Donaldson’s body was found at Kinnordy Loch.
The claim was made yesterday on the fourth day of a murder trial at the High Court in Edinburgh.
Davidson and co-accused Steven Dickie and Tasmin Glass, all from Kirriemuir, are accused of murdering Arbroath oil worker Mr Donaldson.
Michael Davidson told police his nephew said he had “punched the guy a couple of times and been scratched on the nose by the boy”.
However, he said he had nothing to do with the discovery of Mr Donaldson’s remains at the Angus beauty spot.
Mr Davidson’s evidence was the subject of a police interview taken by Detective Constable David Budd, who was the CCTV co-ordinator in the Donaldson inquiry as part of a major investigation team based at Police Scotland headquarters in Dundee.
The court heard Mr Davidson gave an initial statement to police on June 11 in which he said his nephew had not been at his house on the night of June 6.
Following further inquiries, police re-interviewed 30-year-old Mr Davidson at his work in Forfar on June 27 and he made the baseball bat admission.
He told DC Budd the murder accused had come to his house some time after 9pm on June 6, adding: “When Callum first came in I would say he was a bit agitated.
“The bother with the guy was because Tasmin was due him money. Callum said he was a loan shark but he didn’t say what the money was for.”
“Callum asked me if he could take a baseball bat that was lying at my bedroom door.
“I agreed that Callum could take the baseball bat and presumed it was linked to this guy Steven Donaldson coming through to sort Tasmin out,” Mr Davidson told police.
He then told the detective about a phone call he received just after 1am from his nephew.
“I remember Callum saying something like ‘he’s left him for dead’ when I asked him what the craic was,” his statement continued.
“I could hear they were in Callum’s because I could hear the dogs on the laminate floor. Steven (Dickie) was there because he was on his mobile phone.”
He then said in the interview he had phoned his nephew later on June 7, adding: “Callum didn’t let on anything other than he had punched the guy a couple of times and that Callum had been scratched on the nose by the boy.”
Cross-examined by Davidson’s defence advocate Jonathan Crowe about whether Callum was speaking about himself or someone else when he said ‘he’s left him for dead’, the witness replied: “From what you’ve just read, someone else.”
The trial continues.