Murder trial jurors have been told alleged killer Callum Davidson could have been within “one to two metres” of Steven Donaldson for spots of his blood to transfer to a T-shirt being worn by the accused.
The day after Edinburgh High Court heard blood spot DNA found on Davidson’s garment was, at odds of more than a billion to one, that of the 27-year-old Arbroath oil worker, a forensic expert was cross-examined on the report she compiled at Kinnordy Loch car park, where the deceased was found in the early hours of June 7 last year.
Davidson, Steven Dickie and Tasmin Glass all deny murdering Mr Donaldson.
Questioned by Ian Duguid, counsel for Dickie, forensic scientist Sarah Milne of the Scottish Police Authority, based in Dundee, was asked about the likely proximity of Davidson to Mr Donaldson for blood to transfer to him.
She said blood spots were measured to determine how close a person was to a force of dispersal and in terms of the size of spotting in this case she would estimate 1-2m from the source.
Mr Duguid also asked the witness about forensic tests carried out on his client’s Suzuki motorcycle, his bike leathers, crash helmet and gloves.
She confirmed that no trace of Mr Donaldson’s DNA was found on any of those items.
Advocate Jonathan Crowe, for Davidson, put it to the witness that if Dickie had taken a shower then any DNA traces would have been removed, and Ms Milne agreed that was the case.
The trial also previously heard Mr Donaldson’s blood DNA was found on the handle of a baseball bat and the grips of a mountain bike which also contained Davidson’s DNA.
The advocate suggested: “Mr Davidson could have got blood on his hands by working in the area in the car park where Mr Donaldson’s blood was, without going near Mr Donaldson?”
The witness agreed that was another possible explanation for the transfer.
The court heard earlier a laboratory examination of Davidson’s T-shirt revealed the blood spots at its base, which the witness said may have indicated something else was being worn over the top of it.
Jurors heard the forensic report suggested a possible explanation that the blood may have come to be on the T-shirt if Davidson had used the baseball bat while repeatedly striking Mr Donaldson as alleged. The trial also heard an examination of Mr Donaldson’s brain had revealed bleeding around it was consistent with a direct impact of reasonable force.
The trial continues.
Charges faced by Glass, Dickie and Davidson
The charge faced by all three accused – Tasmin Glass, Steven Dickie and Callum Davidson – alleges that between June 6 and 7 2018 at the Peter Pan playpark, Kirriemuir, and Loch of Kinnordy nature reserve car park, they arranged to meet Mr Donaldson with the intention of harming him and assaulted him. Once there, they repeatedly struck him on the head and body with unknown instruments whereby he was incapacitated. Thereafter, they took him to Loch of Kinnordy where they repeatedly struck him on the head and body with a knife and baseball bat or similar instruments, then repeatedly struck him on the head and neck with an unknown heavy bladed instrument and set fire to him and his motor vehicle, registered S73 VED, and murdered him.
Dickie and Davidson face four other charges including one of behaving in a threatening manner towards two men between January 2014 and June 2018 by making threats, following them on foot and in a motor vehicle.
They are also charged with putting a kitten in a bag in Main Street, Lochore, Fife, during an incident between February 1 and May 31 2017, swinging the bag about and punching and kicking the kitten.
Another charge includes behaving in a threatening manner towards a man in St Malcolm’s Wynd, Kirriemuir, and elsewhere between December 1 2017 and February 28 2018 by following him on foot and in a vehicle, and threatening him with weapons.
Both also deny following and staring at a woman and kicking her car in Kirriemuir between August 1 2017 and April 31 2018.
Davidson faces a further charge of assaulting a man between June 1 2017 and December 31 2017 at a house in Glengate, Kirriemuir.
He allegedly pushed him to the floor and threatened to punch him.
Dickie is also accused of assaulting a woman at the Ogilvy Arms pub in Kirriemuir between February 1 and 28 last year.
He allegedly seized her by the wrist and neck and threatened her with violence.