DUNDEE MURDER TRIAL: Court hears ‘victim’ Gary armed himself with a knife

Police at the scene in the aftermath of the incident and, right, Gary McMillan

A man allegedly murdered yards from his home armed himself with a knife hours before his death, a jury has heard.

Jessica Holt, 22, said she saw Gary McMillan grab a blade from the kitchen of his Lawton Terrace flat to confront Arran Fender, Ms Holt’s ex-boyfriend.

Fender, 31, is accused of murdering 44-year-old Mr McMillan in the early hours of May 16 last year at the junction of Lawton Road and Lawton Terrace.

Ms Holt said Mr McMillan was like a “brother or uncle” to her and she had been briefly staying at his flat.

On the night in question, she and Mr McMillan were drinking vodka and Buckfast, as well as taking cocaine and speed.

Ms Holt had been in a relationship with the accused for around a year prior to the alleged incident. She said Fender and Mr McMillan were on bad terms after claims Fender had cheated on her.

Giving evidence on the third day of the trial, Ms Holt said: “I heard noise outside. It was Arran shouting. I went to the window and he was beside a taxi.

“Gary went downstairs and I followed him quickly afterwards. Arran was still in the street and I just asked him why would I come home with him.”

Ms Holt said she spoke with Fender while he was arguing with Mr McMillan, who returned upstairs after a few minutes.

Ms Holt added: “Gary was getting awfully annoyed. He was running from room to room.

“Gary took one of his knives from the kitchen. I seen him take it. He ran out the house telling me he was going to go outside.”

Pair met up to ‘sort things’, jury told

Gary McMillan and his alleged killer Arran Fender met hours before their fateful encounter to “sort things”, the jury heard.

Fender’s ex-girlfriend Jessica Holt told the High Court in Edinburgh the accused agreed to meet in Lochee Park on May 15, the day before Mr McMillan’s death.

Mr McMillan also took an unknown item to this meeting to protect himself, she said.

“They exchanged a few words that was all,” Ms Holt said.

“He (McMillan) took something but it was only for speaking. He only wanted to speak.

“He told me when he got in that he had taken something. They were speaking to sort things but nothing came of it.

“Arran stayed on a different side of the fence after he knew Gary had something so they ended up briefly speaking.”

Earlier in the day jurors heard from PC Jonathan Hamilton, 30, who was one of the first officers to arrive on the scene of the May 16 incident, at around 2.25am.

He said a silver knife found near to Mr McMillan’s body was similar to knives found in his Lawton Terrace flat. The court was shown images of three silver knives in Mr McMillan’s flat as well as a block containing one silver knife in a kitchen cupboard.

PC Hamilton said: “We got the keys to the man’s flat from the female who was in the street when we turned up.

“There were silver-handled knives in the kitchen similar to the one (found at the scene).”

Prosecutors allege Fender inflicted blunt force trauma to Mr McMillan and repeatedly struck him on the body with a knife or similar instrument.

Fender is also accused of attempting to pervert the course of justice by giving his mother, Annie Hamilton, clothes and footwear he had been wearing during the alleged stabbing, before asking her to dispose of them in a bin chute at Lansdowne Court.

Fender denies possessing a knife on May 15 and threatening Mr McMillan with a knife between February 1 and March 31.

The trial, before judge Lady Carmichael, continues.