Glasgow & West Scotland

Mother tells Glasgow murder trial of blood on son

Police in Midcroft Avenue
Image caption Police at the scene in Midcroft Avenue

A mother has told a murder trial she called the police after her son came home covered in blood and with a knife in his trouser pocket.

Pauline Bell, 58, was giving evidence at the Glasgow trial of 18-year-old Graeme Bell.

He denies murdering Patrick Ferguson, 48, in Midcroft Avenue, Croftfoot, on 19 February last year, and robbing him of quantity of cannabis resin.

He also denies preventing his mother from making a 999 call.

Mrs Bell told the High Court in Glasgow that she was woken in the early hours of 19 February, last year, by her son knocking on the front door.

Blood on the knife

She said: "I walked upstairs behind him. His clothes were heavily stained on the left hand side. It was a red jacket it just looked dark.

She was asked by prosecutor David Taylor if she saw anything else and replied: "Not until he got upstairs. I noticed there was a knife hanging out of Graeme's trouser pocket.

"I took it from his pocket and said 'I'm going to call the police'.

"There was blood on the knife. I don't like the sight of blood. So I just wanted the police to come and sort out what had happened. I didn't know if Graeme was injured or someone else."

She said she asked her son, who had blood on his T-shirt and hands, what had happened and he told her his hands were cut and it was his blood.

She told the jury: "I really got it in my mind that he had been in a fight.

"I said I'm phoning the police and he said 'you don't need to phone the police mum its my blood.'"

She said that at one point she was holding her son with one hand and the knife with the other.

She told the jury: "I didn't want him to go anywhere. I wanted him to stay until the police arrived.

"He was upset and frightened. He just kept saying you don't need to mum it's me that's bleeding."

'I love you mum'

During the 999 call to the police Bell is heard begging his mother to let him go. At one point he says: 'You're going to try and jail me because of my own blood."

The court heard that Mrs Bell handed over the knife to her partner Denis Tierney.

She claimed that during the phone call, which lasted nine minutes, she was struggling with her son who was trying to get hold of the house keys she had in her dressing gown pocket.

She broke down in tears as she told the court: "As the police took him away he said 'I love you, mum'."

Under cross-examination by defence QC Donald Findlay, Mrs Bell admitted that her son went "off the rails" as he got older and was a cannabis user.

Police surgeon Dr Philip McNaught, who examined Bell said he had scratches on the back of his hands, a cut on one finger, bruises on his back and scratches on his elbow.

Earlier, the court heard from electrician Gareth Thomas, 41, who said he was woken at about 02:30 and heard a man's voice shouting: "Phone the police. I need help. He's got a knife.'

Mr Thomas said he went outside and found a man lying on the ground. He said: "He was clutching his chest and rolling about a wee bit. I squeezed his arm and asked him if he was okay, but he didn't answer."

He added that he and a neighbour performed CPR on the man until the paramedics arrived, but later heard that Mr Ferguson had died.

The trial before Lady Stacey continues.

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