Tayside and Central Scotland

Matthew Pope on trial for murder of Michael Given in Dundee

Michael Given Image copyright Other
Image caption Michael Given was found dead at a property in Lochee last July

A man has gone on trial accused of battering another man to death with a plank of wood and a TV.

Matthew Pope, 22, is alleged to have murdered Michael Given in a high rise flat in Dundee.

Mr Given was found dead at a property in the city's Elders Court last July.

Mr Pope is on trial at the High Court in Aberdeen facing five charges, including attempting to defeat the ends of justice. He denies all the charges against him.

Giving evidence on the first day of the trial, Sgt Martin Jenkins said he was one of the first officers on the scene.

The court heard he and another police constable had been called to the building a tenant complained of being threatened by a neighbour who lived on the same floor.

After getting no response at the flat of the complainer, they noticed a suspicious mark on the open door of the flat directly opposite.

Pool of blood

Mr Jenkins said: "The door was sitting ajar. We shouted inside the door that it was the police. There was no reply.

"We also noticed a handprint on the door - it seemed to be a bloodied handprint."

The court heard the officers then entered the flat and discovered a body in the living room.

Mr Jenkins said: "On the left hand side there was a male lying face down on the floor.

"There was what seemed to be broken furniture and a flat screen television on his legs. The man's face was resting in what appeared to be a pool of blood. There certainly seemed to be trauma to his face."

The court heard the dead man was later identified as Mr Given.

The jury was shown a photograph of the crime scene.

CCTV footage showed him going up and down between the sixth floor and the caretakers office on the ground floor several times hours before he was found dead.

One clip showed him staggering out of a lift in his underwear.

Disposing of evidence

Mr Pope is accused of assaulting a man on Victoria Road, Dundee, on 10 February 2013, by repeatedly punching him on the head causing him to fall to the ground then kicking and stamping on his head.

He is also accused of threatening and abusive behaviour on 20 and 21 July at the city's Elders Court by shouting, swearing, uttering threats of violence to Michael Given, and adopting an aggressive manner towards Paul Taylor, Rowena McIntosh and Douglas McIntyre.

He also faces a charge of assaulting Mr Given on 20 or 21 July by inflicting blunt force injuries by unknown means and attempting to strike him with a piece of wood.

The fourth charge states that Mr Pope murdered Mr Given on July 21 after assaulting him by punching and kicking him on the head and body as well as striking him with a piece of wood with nails protruding from it, as well as inflicting blunt force injuries with a TV - having previously shown malice and ill will towards him.

The fifth charge states that the accused then attempted to defeat the ends of justice by removing blood stained clothing and disposing of evidence in a bin.

The trial before Lord Armstrong continues.

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