Darren Murphy denies killing John Morrison in Glasgow

John Morrison Mr Morrison died after being found in Glasgow's Argyle Street

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A man charged with killing a former East Dunbartonshire council leader days before Christmas has pleaded not guilty and claimed he acted in self defence.

Darren Murphy, 25, is accused of punching John Morrison on the head in Dunlop Street, Glasgow, on 22 December, causing him to fall and hit his head.

His lawyer lodged a not guilty plea with a special defence of self defence at the High Court in Glasgow.

Mr Morrison, 50, died after he was found in Argyle Street at 00:20.

Mr Murphy was due to make his first public appearance in court on Thursday but was not present.

He was represented by advocate Dale Hughes who also lodged not guilty pleas to the other charges he faces.

Other charges

Mr Murphy, from Glasgow, is also accused of possessing the drug ecstasy within the Arches Nightclub and London Road, Argyle Street and Midland Street, Glasgow, in December last year.

He faces a further charge of attempting to defeat the ends of justice.

The Crown alleges that he instructed a man not to tell police that he (Mr Murphy) had punched Mr Morrison.

It is alleged that he repeatedly instructed another man to delete text messages or tell anyone what happened in relation to the alleged attack.

It is also alleged that Mr Murphy told a third man to delete text messages from his mobile phone.

The accused is due to stand trial in December.

Former Liberal Democrat councillor Mr Morrison lived in Milngavie, East Dunbartonshire.

He was the leader of East Dunbartonshire Council from 2003 until 2007.

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