LIAM AITCHISON MURDER TRIAL: Day 14 Part 2

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Prosecutor Iain McSporran said there was compelling and persuasive evidence against Johnathan Mackinnon and Stefan Millar who are accused of murdering Liam Aitchison at a house in Steinish in November 2011.

In his closing speech to the jury, Advocate Depute Mr McSporran said all evidence pointed to the guilt of the two accused.

The closing speeches for the defence will be given tomorrow (Thursday) before the jury retires.

He said: “They (the accused) have given a simple and consistent account, they stand or fall together.”

He said on November 23rd the two accused and Liam Aitchison had left Mr Mackinnon’s house in Plasterfield at some point after midnight.

Despite extensive searches, there had been no sighting of Liam alive after this point by any credible witness, he said.

He said just before leaving the house Liam had been drunk and had vomited. When his body was examined he was found to have a high alcohol level and an empty stomach which was consistent with the Crown's case that he died shortly after that time.

Mr McSporran drew attention to the evidence from witness Mrs Donalda Kennedy who had seen three people walking past her house in Steinish all wearing hoodies. He said door to door enquiries had found those people had not gone to any occupied home in the village.

He said it had been shown that Mr Mackinnon and Mr Millar would have had enough time to go from Plasterfield to Steinish, commit the murder and return to Plasterfield in the time they were away.

He also pointed out that despite considerable phone use before and after a period of just over an hour, there had been no phone activity by either of them for a time.

He added: “Despite having Liam’s number stored in his phone, Johnathan Mackinnon phoned Stephanie Flanigan out of the blue and asked if Liam had made it to Pemma’s house. Why not simply phone Liam?”

He asked why if Mr Mackinnon had indeed gone to a derelict building near Fusion takeaway, why he had not just crossed the road and gone up to the hospital to have his wound - which was sustained earlier at his home - attended to and not walked back to Plasterfield and woken his mother to take him to the hospital.

He pointed out that Mr Mackinnon’s blood was found in drips on the carpet in the room where the murder took place and there had been no evidential basis for that presented to the court.

He said the presence of drips of blood on the carpet in the very part of the room where Liam was killed was an ‘astonishing coincidence’.

He reminded the court of evidence that Mr Mackinnon had been to that house before but said there was no positive evidence of him bleeding in the living room.

He referred to evidence given by witness Gavin Wright who alleged that Mr Mackinnon had said he would 'love to stab someone'.

Mr McSporran said they knew there had been a falling out when the three were leaving the house in Plasterfield but ‘it was hard to imagine that theft of an aftershave would lead to this terrible death’

He said the evidence given by witness Dominic Long had been compelling and that this was not a boy who wanted to be at the trial and was no reason for him to lie.

He had shown Mr Long a disturbing photograph of Liam’s body which had prompted his evidence that Mr Millar had told him he and Mr Mackinnon had committed the murder.

He said there was nothing in the psychological report on Mr Long which suggested his evidence would be unreliable.

“You can have a jigsaw but not have all the pieces but still see the picture," he told the jury. "That’s the nature of a circumstantial case."

He said Liam had been missing from the moment he had not turned up at Pemma Maclennan’s house in McCallum Place and that: “He was never seen again, never seen in CCTV, not one positive sighting of him.”

He said in the period after the Crown alleges Mr Mackinnon and Mr Millar had killed Liam Aitchison, Mr Mackinnon had gone to Western Isles Hospital to have his wound seen to and had asked one of the nurses out of the blue: ‘do you think I’m mentally disturbed?’

He said it was a curious aspect of this case that whoever had killed Liam Aitchison they had managed to leave no trace outside the room where the body was found.

Defence closing statements will be given tomorrow (Thursday).

Both Johnathan Mackinnon and Stefan Millar deny the charges against them.