I’m sorry, says mur­der ac­cused

Tells trial that he acted in self de­fence

Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser - - News - Court re­porter

A Coat­bridge man ac­cused of mur­der­ing a for­mer work­mate broke down in the dock this week as he told a jury he was “dev­as­tated” by the man’s death.

Scott Agnew, 29, de­nies stab­bing Ste­wart “Chico” Rex­ter to death with a screwdriver in Air­drie on Novem­ber 3 last year and claims he acted in self­de­fence.

Giv­ing ev­i­dence on Mon­day, Agnew claimed Mr Rex­ter had at­tacked him first, telling the High Court in Liv­ingston: “I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean for any of this.

“I def­i­nitely didn’t mean to kill him. I wouldn’t want to kill any­body.

“I did not mur­der that man. I would never do that to any hu­man.

“I had a car, a job, a girl­friend, a wee boy. I didn’t mean to throw all this away.”

Agnew said Mr Rex­ter owed him £400 but claimed it was not a drugs debt, as other wit­nesses tes­ti­fied.

He ad­mit­ted his friends and work­mates had been fol­low­ing Rex­ter around Air­drie and phon­ing him to tell him where he could be found.

When he even­tu­ally caught up with Mr Rex­ter in Vic­to­ria Place, Agnew ac­cel­er­ated his BMW X5 to­wards him, braked and jumped out of the car in con­fronta­tion.

He told the jury: “I says to him, ‘What’s hap­pened about my money?’, and he struck me on the left hand side of the face and said, ‘I’ve got no f****** money’.

“I just felt him punch­ing me on the left-hand side of my face and I re­alised he had some­thing in his hand. It made con­tact with my eye and I could feel some­thing scrap­ing right down from my face onto my chest.

“I grabbed his right hand im­me­di­ately with my left and started punch­ing him with my right hand. I was just try­ing to get him away from me, like de­fend­ing my­self.”

Agnew, cur­rently a pris­oner at HMP Ad­diewell, said he man­aged to pull the makeshift weapon out of Rex­ter’s hand and jabbed it into the side of his face.

He said: “I knew it was metal. I knew it was very thin. I didn’t re­alise he was badly in­jured be­cause he walked away af­ter it.

“If I’d re­alised that was go­ing to hap­pen I would have phoned him an am­bu­lance.”

Ste­wart Rex­ter died from ir­re­versible brain dam­age caused by bleed­ing in­side his skull due to a two-inch deep stab wound in his right tem­ple. He was pro­nounced dead two days af­ter the in­ci­dent.

Un­der cross-ex­am­i­na­tion, Agnew de­nied telling pals he had re­peat­edly tried to stab Rex­ter with the weapon be­fore jab­bing it into his skull.

He also de­nied that he struck the fa­tal blow with one last swing of his left arm be­fore run­ning back to his car and speeding off.

Ad­vo­cate de­pute David Tay­lor told Agnew: “You’re ly­ing, maybe just to your­self, but you’re ly­ing. Isn’t that the case?” Agnew replied: “No.”

Mr Tay­lor went on: “The CCTV, ev­ery piece of ev­i­dence points to you be­ing the mur­derer of Ste­wart Rex­ter, doesn’t it?” Agnew an­swered: “No.”

Ear­lier, the court had learned from Agnew’s ex-girl­friend, Lisa Arm­strong, 26, that she heard him threat­en­ing to stab some­one be­fore he stopped the car and at­tacked a man in the street.

Miss Arm­strong said Agnew had re­ceived a phone call as he drove her to work say­ing his friends had “seen a guy called Chico he was look­ing for”.

She said there were sev­eral phone calls from Agnew’s friends dur­ing which he asked for Chico to be “kept there” un­til he ar­rived.

Miss Arm­strong told the court: “He jumped out of the car and the two of them start fight­ing. It was just re­ally a scuf­fle and over in a cou­ple of sec­onds.

“[After­wards] he was on the phone to his pals again. He said that he’d just stabbed Chico.

“I didn’t say any­thing be­cause I didn’t know he’d ac­tu­ally done it.

“When we took a left onto Locks Street he brought out a screwdriver and chucked it out the win­dow onto the grass verge.

“I only seen the sil­ver bit of it. It was just a nor­mal size screwdriver.”

Miss Arm­strong said that the next day Agnew seemed “shocked” when she told him part of Vic­to­ria Place had been cor­doned off with po­lice tape.

She added: “He was grey. He looked as if he was up­set but I was ask­ing him to go to the po­lice and he wouldn’t.

“Over the week­end I told my mum more about what had hap­pened. I went to the po­lice. I still wanted Scott to go.”

Miss Arm­strong said she now wanted noth­ing more to do with Agnew.

The trial, be­fore Lord Clark, con­tin­ues.

I did not mur­der that man. I would never do that to any hu­man. I had a car, a job, a girl­friend, a wee boy. I didn’t mean to throw all this away Scott Agnew

Tragic Ste­wart Rex­ter

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