The mother of one of the accused told the High Court in Glasgow yesterday (Friday) that Liam Aitchison had tried to jump out of an upstairs window of her house in Plasterfield on the night he disappeared.
Giving evidence on day four in the trial of Johnathan Mackinnon (22) and Stefan Millar (22), who are accused of murdering Liam on November 23rd 2011, Mrs Bella Mackinnon (47) - mother of Johnathan Mackinnon - said her son and Stefan Millar and Liam had been at the house in Plasterfield on the night of November 22nd and had been drinking upstairs.
She explained that she had gone upstairs to check everything was alright and that Liam was standing on top of the single bed and he was going to climb out of the window.
She said she heard Stefan Millar say: “Get down from there, don’t be so stupid.”
On the night of November 22nd she said she knew he was expecting his girlfriend Amy Burns to come to the house. She had come up with her friend and later Mr Millar and Liam Aitchison had also arrived.
She said Mr Mackinnon had cut his finger and blood was dripping on the floor but he had said it was just a scratch. She said when she looked at it she thought he would need stitches.
The girls had left and Mr Mackinnon, Mr Millar and Liam Aitchison had gone upstairs and taken the bottle of vodka with them.
She said it was a few hours later when they were about to go out that Liam had tried to climb out of the upstairs window. She said they left at 12:20am and she knew because she had looked at her mobile phone and had turned on teletext on the television.
Prosecutor Mr McSporran questioned whether it could have been earlier than that and whether she had been having problems with her mobile. She said it sometimes froze and the SIM card and battery had to be removed and then the time would have to be reset, but she was sure it was always set correctly.
She was asked if she had text Stefan Millar at 12:21am to ask where they were going? Mr McSporran asked why a text had been sent just one minute after they left and why she had not just asked them when they were still at the house. She said there was no point in talking to them when they had been drinking as they didn’t listen. She said they later said they had been at Fusion takeaway in Stornoway. Mr McSporran questioned why if they had been around the area of Fusion takeaway, which is near the Western Isles Hospital, would Mr Mackinnon have come all the way home to get his mother to take him to Accident and Emergency.
Defence QC Frances McMenamin referred to Stefan Millar having said they were ‘just having a smoke and then came up the road’. Ms McMenamin said could it be that they were in a derelict house near Fusion, opposite the Cabarfeidh Hotel, where they had gone for a smoke. Mrs Mackinnon said she did not approve of cannabis taking.
Mr Mackinnon and Mr Millar had returned just before 2am, said Mrs Mackinnon and Johnathan Mackinnon had asked her to take him to the hospital as his cut hand from earlier in the evening was still bleeding. One of them had told her Liam Aitchison had gone off to Pemma Maclennan’s house. She taken Mr Mackinnon to the hospital and Mr Millar had gone to bed. They had returned from the hospital by 2.40am, she said.
She was asked by Mr McSporran, Prosecutor, if she was aware that Mr Mackinnon had a meat cleaver in his bedroom. She said she did know and had removed it.
Defence lawyer Iain Paterson also asked her about this and clarified with her that when Mr Mackinnon had gone out that night with Stefan Millar and Liam Aitchison, the meat cleaver had remained in the house. Yes, she said.
She was asked by Prosecutor Mr McSporran if she knew of the house where Liam’s body was found and whether she knew that Johnathan was in the habit of going there. She said yes she had known he had gone there in the past as it was a ‘drinking den for the young ones.’