DUNDEE MURDER TRIAL: ‘Gary warned that trouble was coming the way of his alleged killer’

A Dundee man who was stabbed to death had warned that “trouble was heading the way” of his alleged killer, a court has been told.

Arran Fender, 31, is accused of murdering 44-year-old Gary McMillan in the early hours of May 16 last year, at the junction of Lawton Road and Lawton Terrace. He denies the charges, claiming self-defence.

At the High Court in Edinburgh on Tuesday, Jill Halliday, 31, gave evidence via video link from Dundee Sheriff Court.

Ms Halliday, the mother of Fender’s child, told the court Fender had arrived at her home in the early hours of May 16 and told her he had “been involved in a fight” with Mr McMillan.

The jury heard the accused and the deceased had at one point been close friends but had fallen out a number of months before Mr McMillan’s death.

The “bad blood” had centred around Fender having a relationship with Jessica Holt, 22, while also still seeing Ms Halliday.

Ms Halliday said Mr McMillan had called her on May 15 — just hours before his death — to tell her Fender had been seeing Ms Holt behind her back.

Defending, Donald Findlay QC asked Ms Halliday: “Did he then go on to threaten Arran by saying (to you), ‘trouble is coming Arran’s way’?” Ms Halliday confirmed that he had.

Asked where she thought the “trouble” was coming from, Ms Halliday said: “By way of the bad blood between them, I would have thought it would have been from Gary.”

Mr McMillan and Ms Holt — who said the deceased was “like an uncle to her” — had been drinking and taking speed and cocaine at his home address on May 15 and into the early hours of May 16.

Fender had come to the property and shouted up to the living room window of the top-floor flat. That led to an altercation between the men and Mr McMillan’s death.

Gary McMillan

Fender later arrived at Ms Halliday’s house in Glenmarkie Terrace around 3am on May 16 and told her he had “been involved in a fight” with Mr McMillan.

He gave no indication that a knife had been used, she added.

Although the couple had been in a relationship and had a child together, they did not live together.

When he arrived at her house, Ms Halliday described Fender as having a black eye and appearing drunk, adding: “He said it had been a serious, serious fight.

“I wasn’t really interested in that, I was more interested in him and Jessica Holt.

“I didn’t really think at that point that it had been a serious fight.”

Fender eventually fell asleep in his daughter’s bedroom at the property.

Mr Findlay asked Ms Halliday: “As time went on you got wind that this might be a serious incident?” Ms Halliday said she did.

She added: “I said to Arran that if this was true, you have to hand yourself in to the police.”

Earlier, the court had heard from Ms Holt, who said Mr McMillan had left his flat with a knife and gone in pursuit of the accused on the night of the killing.

Fender denies inflicting blunt force trauma to Mr McMillan and repeatedly striking him on the body with a knife or similar instrument.

He 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 further 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.

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