A man found dead in his Aberdeen flat asked family members if he could stay with them because people were “after him”, a murder trial has heard.
Ryan Gibb, 32, and Cameron Laurie, 33, are on trial at the High Court in Aberdeen accused of murdering James Chadwick, 37.
Gibb, whose mother Tracey had been in a relationship with Mr Chadwick, and Laurie both deny the charges against them.
As the trial entered its third day Thomas Holmes, Mr Chadwick’s brother, gave evidence.
Asked by advocate depute James Keegan if his brother had ever told him about any issues with Tracey’s family, he said: “There was one time he messaged me asking if he could come and stay with me because he was scared because Tracey’s family were after him.”
Reading from a statement Mr Holmes gave to the police about his brother’s message, Mr Keegan said: “He said something along the lines of ‘Tommy, I need your help. I’m in trouble. It’s serious’.
He said ‘Tracey’s family are after me’. I asked him why and he said something like ‘they think I’ve been cheating’ or ‘I’ve been cheating’.”
Keith Stewart QC, representing Gibb, took Mr Keegan through the rest of his statement: “You said ‘I advised him that if he was that scared he should get in touch with the police. He then said he wasn’t a grass and it didn’t matter’.”
The QC continued: “One interpretation might be that there was no real threat.”
Mr Holmes replied: “I wouldn’t interpret it like that.”
Gibb and Laurie are accused of murdering Mr Chadwick at his address on the city’s Holland Street on the night of August 31 into September 1 2015.
It’s alleged they struck him on the face as well as punched and pushed him.
It is also alleged they repeatedly struck him with a dog lead or similar instrument and kicked and stamped on his head and body.
They are further accused of attempting to defeat the ends of justice by cleaning blood from Mr Chadwick’s head and body, falsely claiming to have witnessed a male being assaulted and by disposing of a dog lead or similar instrument.
The trial continues.