Advocates defending men accused of culpable homicide and assault in a New Year’s Day taxi brawl have made their closing remarks ahead of the jury retiring.
Wes Reid, 20, of Tayport, is accused of killing Brian Fox by punching him in the head, causing him to strike his head on the ground.
Reid has filed a special defence, claiming he believed he was going to be hit by Mr Fox and struck out once in self-defence.
Adam Valentine, 25, a prisoner at HMP Perth, is accused of assaulting Sandra Jean Baird to her severe injury and danger to her life.
Both offences are alleged to have taken place in the early hours of January 1 this year in the Nethergate.
Defence lawyers made their closing statements at the High Court in Edinburgh this morning.
Mark Stewart QC, for Valentine, suggested to jurors there was “doubt” over whether Valentine had deliberately pushed Mrs Baird.
“The consequences of the evidence do not determine the cause of the incident,” he said.
“In trying to prove this charge – proof beyond reasonable doubt – the Crown require to demonstrate to this high standard the evidence that this was a deliberate push by the accused upon Mrs Baird.
“The question here, ladies and gentlemen, is did Adam Valentine deliberately push this lady or did he collide with her in the course of another struggle and as a result of that knock her over?
“The Crown must prove this was a deliberate act and must provide it in evidence.
“If you were, in the fullness of time, to consider the case and say, ‘Well, Mr Valentine may have pushed this lady’ – what do you do? You acquit Mr Valentine. ‘Might’ is not good enough.
“Or maybe he pushed her? You acquit Mr Valentine. Maybe is not good enough.
“If you say, ‘I think he probably pushed her’ – you acquit him. Probably is not what we are about here.”
Donald Findlay QC, for Reid, made the case that the 20-year-old had always asserted that his actions were in self-defence – and acknowledged the incident had “tragic” consequences.
“What you are being asked to do is take this case as if you were reading a textbook and as if it wasn’t in the real world that these events happened,” Mr Findlay said.
“What have we actually been looking at? About 30 seconds – in reality three and a bit seconds. And that’s ridiculous.
“In reality nobody has a chance to pause or rewind or replay – I urge you to bear that in mind.
“What the Crown says should have happened in those three seconds is that the young man there assesses there is someone in front of him, knows what threat there is, weighs up the balance of what he should do and then run away. (That he should do that) at a time when there is all sorts of things going on about and everyone has had a drink is ridiculous.
“It’s one o’clock in the morning. People have had a drink. People are arguing, pushing, shoving.
“Wes Reid is there. At some point he is confronted by a man, 6ft 2in, and 16 and a half stone and that man has ended up on the ground.
“There is not a scrap of evidence that man (Reid) had a scrap of evil in his heart that night.”
Mr Findlay also refuted claims Reid would have heard Mr Fox’s last words of “calm down” before the fatal incident took place.
“There is not a scrap of evidence that Wes Reid heard that,” the QC added.
“He has said from the very outset what he believed was happening and why he did what he did.
“You will be asked to convict him of culpably killing a human being. You have to be sure that is what you want to do.”
The jury was set to begin considering their verdict this afternoon. The trial, before Lord Beckett, continues.