Aberdeen mur­der trial starts

Court: Stabbed man’ s girl­friend gives ev­i­dence

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire) - - FRONT PAGE - BY STEPHEN WALSH

Man ac­cused of killing his friend

The girl­friend of a man who was stabbed to death by his best friend re­ceived a tear­ful apol­ogy from him just days later, a jury has heard.

Dar­ren Riley is ac­cused of mur­der­ing Robert Reid at 6 Ar­nage Place in Aberdeen by re­peat­edly strik­ing him on the head and body with a knife on Oc­to­ber 26, 2016. He de­nies the charge.

Yes­ter­day, the 29-year-old, of Don Place, Wood­side, went on trial at the High Court in Aberdeen where he lodged a spe­cial de­fence of self-de­fence.

The court heard ev­i­dence from Mr Reid’s then girl­friend Jacque­line Han­ratty, who lived with him at the time of his death.

Miss Han­ratty, 29, told ad­vo­cate de­pute James Keegan QC that Riley, nick­named Canny, and her part­ner had been tak­ing Val­ium and cannabis in the hours be­fore the in­ci­dent.

She said she had left the flat with their young son to go and stay the night with Reid’s mother be­cause they had started drink­ing the al­co­hol from her home-made Christ­mas ham­pers.

Miss Han­ratty said she woke up the next morn­ing to dis­cover that her mother and other peo­ple had been try­ing to con­tact her be­cause her street had been sealed off.

She said she then re­turned home but could not get past the po­lice cor­don and was told by of­fi­cers that there was a dead per­son in the prop­erty.

Sev­eral hours later she found out it was her boyfriend that had been killed af­ter be­ing stabbed 21 times.

Miss Han­ratty told the jury she then man­aged to get word to Riley to con­tact her so she could find out what hap­pened, and he called her mother’s house a few days af­ter the in­ci­dent.

She said: “He just kept say­ing he was sorry. I told him ‘It’s all good say­ing sorry just now but it’s not just me that’s lost my part­ner, it’s my son who’s with­out his dad’.

“He said he couldn’t re­mem­ber what had hap­pened, but said Robert had punched him and knocked his teeth out.

“He said he got up to leave and Robert had a knife. I asked him how he had ended up with the knife. He tried to tell me what Robert had done but said he couldn’t re­mem­ber what he had done.”

Dur­ing cross-ex­am­i­na­tion, de­fence coun­sel Ian Duguid put it to Miss Han­ratty that Mr Reid, who had been a suc­cess­ful boxer when he was younger, was a vi­o­lent man who had been in and out of prison.

The wit­ness, who had to leave the dock at one point when she was shown a pho­to­graph of blood at the scene, de­nied this but said he “knew how to han­dle him­self ”.

“If you knew Robert like I did or like Canny did you would know he was a lovely fam­ily man who was al­ways there for his fam­ily and his friends,” she said.

The trial, be­fore Lord Kin­claven, con­tin­ues.

WIT­NESS: Jacque­line Han­ratty told how two men had been drink­ing and tak­ing drugs

Robert Reid: dead in city flat

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