Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Pair stand trial on Musselburgh murder charge

Two men have gone on trial accused of murdering a man in Midlothian last year.

Ross Tait, 22, and Ryan Cameron, 25, appeared at the High Court in Edinburgh to face a total of five charges before judge Lord Stewart.

The pair pleaded not guilty to murdering David McCardle, from Musselburgh, on 11 August 2011 at the Vennel in the town's North High Street.

They also deny assaulting a total of three other men in the town.

Prosecution lawyers allege the two men repeatedly punched Mr McCardle on the head and body and repeatedly threw a metal barrel or similar instrument at him.

It is alleged the barrel or similar instrument struck him on the body. The two men are also alleged to have forced Mr McCardle onto the ground and held him there.

Punched and kicked

Prosecution lawyers further allege both Mr Tait and Mr Cameron repeatedly kicked Mr McCardle on the head and body, repeatedly struck him on the head and body with a hammer, metal barrel and a brush with such force that the brush or a similar implement was damaged.

The two men also allegedly assaulted a man called Steven Lindsay on 12 August 2011 at the Clubhouse Public Bar in North High Street.

The two accused are said to have punched Mr Lindsay on the head, causing him to fall to the ground. Prosecutors say that as Mr Lindsay lay on the ground, the two accused repeatedly struggled with him, punched and kicked him on the head and body and struck him with a hammer.

It is alleged they also stamped on his head and that these actions led to Mr Lindsay being severely injured, permanently disfigured and that his life was endangered.

Mr Tait, of, Dalkeith, Midlothian, is also accused of breaching section 38 (1) of the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010 on the same date and location as the assault allegation.

It is alleged he behaved in a threatening manner which was likely to cause a reasonable person to suffer fear and alarm by shouting and swearing, uttering threats of violence and challenging Mr Lindsay to fight.

Severely injured

Mr Tait is also accused of assaulting a man called Calum Wright on the same date at the same location by punching him on the head.

The two men are also accused of endangering Derek Robertson's life on the same date at the Vennel, North High Street, Musselburgh, by repeatedly striking him on the head and body with a metal barrel and a hammer.

Prosecutors allege Mr Robertson was severely injured by these actions.

Both accused pleaded not guilty to all the charges against them.

They also lodged special defences which claim they were acting in self defence and were protecting each other.

Mr Tait is represented by advocate Brian McConnachie QC whilst Mr Cameron, of Leith Walk, Edinburgh, is represented by Robert Anthony QC.

At the start of proceedings, Lord Stewart told the jury that he expected the trial to last about three weeks.

The trial will continue on Tuesday morning.