One of the men accused of killing Brian Fox during a brawl at a Dundee taxi rank just hours into the new year has pled guilty to a lesser charge of assault.
Adam Valentine, 25, who was accused of killing the 62-year-old on Hogmanay at the Nethergate taxi rank, has now admitted punching him while he lay unconscious on the road. He still denies causing his death.
The other accused, 20-year-old Wes Reid, is charged with culpable homicide by delivering the first punch, causing Mr Fox to strike his head on the ground, killing him.
Reid denies the charge and claimed in police interview tapes played at Edinburgh High Court on Wednesday, he thought Mr Fox “was going to punch” him first.
The court had previously heard a large scuffle had erupted at the city centre Nethergate taxi rank in the early hours before Mr Fox was hit and fell onto the road, later dying in hospital.
The court also heard 64-year-old Sandra Reid had suffered an injury during the incident.
Valentine is accused of pushing her, causing her to strike her head on the ground rendering her unconscious, all to her severe injury and to the danger of her life.
On Wednesday, the jury was shown three police interview videos conducted by Police Scotland CID officers with Reid in the days after the incident.
In the videos, Reid, of Newport Road, Tayport, admits he threw one punch but claims he feared being attacked after Mr Fox walked towards him.
He said: “I thought he was going to punch me so I punched him. I hit him one time with my right hand and he hit the ground.”
When asked by officers how he felt to hear Mr Fox had died, Reid replied: “Extremely bad. Awful.”
Another witness, Gordon Floyd, who was waiting on a taxi at the time, told the court he saw Mr Fox approach the group and say “calm down”.
Day five of the trial saw the Crown close its case against Reid and Valentine before Advocate Depute Mark McGuire delivered his closing speech.
He urged the jury to convict both Reid and Valentine.
He said Mr Fox had attempted to diffuse the situation but was the victim of an “unprovoked attack”.
He said the jury would be entitled to conclude Reid’s claim of self-defence did not tally with that heard in evidence throughout the trial.
He said: “It was the last New Year Brian Fox was to ever see.
“Reid had no reason to fear an imminent attack. Mr Fox posed no threat to anyone whatsoever.
“He tried to help, to try and diffuse the situation. He tried to get everyone to calm down.
“When Mr Reid hit him it was not an act of self-defence. He assaulted him and killed him.”
He added that, like Mr Fox, Sandra Baird was left unconscious on the ground in an attack by Valentine.
He said: “The potential of striking one’s head on the ground has been laid bare by the death of Brian Fox.
“Mr Valentine, I submit to you, endangered her life.”
A number of charges of assault facing Valentine, of HMP Perth, had been withdrawn earlier in the day.
The trial, before Lord Beckett continues.