A murder accused claimed two men attacked his lover and told him “This is not the first time we have done this,” a court heard yesterday.
Keith Rizzo, 23, is claimed to have stated to his mum that Neomi Smith was set upon while the couple were in her flat in Brechin, Angus.
It’s claimed he said the 23-year-old, who was from Aberdeen, was stabbed by the duo before one “wiped” a knife on Rizzo and made him put his hand on the blood-splattered floor.
The ex-farm worker is on trial at the High Court in Glasgow where he denies murdering former Northfield Academy pupil Miss Smith last June 9.
His mum Frances Rizzo gave evidence yesterday.
Jurors heard how she was on holiday in Spain when her son was charged. She later went to visit him in Perth Prison in late June last year.
She said Rizzo said two men turned on Miss Smith and warned him at one point: “If you make a sound or shout for help, I will slit your throat.”
She said Rizzo then said he pleaded with them to take money from his bank account instead.
Miss Rizzo told prosecutor Duncan McPhie: “Keith said the man who had been stabbing Neomi swapped places with the man who had been holding him.
“The second man knelt down and was then randomly stabbing her with the knife.
“I asked ‘how many times?’, but Keith said he did not know, just that he kept doing it and doing it.”
She told the court Rizzo said his stricken lover was “groaning and making noises”.
And she said he claimed he was then ordered to grab the knife after being told: “Take it or you are going to end up the same way.”
Jurors heard one of the men was claimed to have wiped the weapon on Rizzo’s jeans then demanded to put his hand in the blood at the flat.
She said Rizzo insisted he was then “hauled up by the scruff of the neck” and “placed” in the shower. Mr McPhie asked the mum: “After the man turned it on, what happened then?”
Miss Rizzo said: “Keith stated he said to them: ‘You are not going to get away with this’.
“The man said to Keith: ‘This is not the first time we have done this’. He said he was in the shower for 10 minutes – when he came out, the men had gone.”
The court heard Rizzo said he found Neomi, checked for a pulse before going to a neighbour for help.
The jury was told Rizzo had also told his mum that weeks before the alleged murder he and Miss Smith had been out for a walk in Brechin.
He said two men in a black Vauxhall Astra had stopped near them.
Rizzo claimed his girlfriend stated to him: “Stay there. I need to go and talk with them.”
His mum said her son said Miss Smith went on to hand over a “wad of cash” to one of the men.
His mum told jurors: “Keith said the other man got out as he had approached. He said to Keith: ‘Just stay there, mate or I will hurt you… I will really hurt you’.”
Rizzo denies all charges against him. The trial continues.