Glasgow & West Scotland

Murder accused admits killing friend with dumbbell at Greenock flat

Kyle McAuley Image copyright Spindrift
Image caption Kyle McAuley told the High Court in Glasgow he feared his friend was going to kill him

A murder accused has admitted killing his best friend by hitting him on the head three times with a dumbbell.

Kyle McAuley, 30, told a jury at the High Court in Glasgow that he was scared of father-of-three Kevin McCluskey.

He said his friend was "nuts" and "angry" before the attack and claimed he had acted in self-defence.

McAuley, of Nelson Street, Greenock, is accused of murdering 28-year-old Mr McCluskey at his flat on 24 March.

He told the court: "It all happened in 30 seconds. It was quick."

McAuley denies murder, but in evidence he admitted sending pictures of Mr McCluskey's body to two women and moving his body.

'Clenching his fists'

The accused said that he and Mr McCluskey, whom he had known since he was 14, had been out drinking in Greenock but got separated.

Later that night, McAuley said that Mr McCluskey turned up at his flat. He said: "He was nuts. He was angry at me. He was gritting his teeth and swaying back and forward and clenching his fists.

"He was shouting. He said he was going to kill me."

McAuley told the jury he punched his friend and then ran into his mother's bedroom where he picked up a dumbbell with two weights at one side.

He said that Mr McCluskey was looking into his bedroom when he hit him on the back of the head with the dumbbell.

Prosecutor Greg Farrell asked him: "At this point, when you came up behind him, you didn't know if he had a weapon?" McAuley replied: "I'm not sure. I just know what he's capable of doing. I just thought the only thing I could do was knock him out."

The accused told the court that Mr McCluskey fell onto the bed and he saw his friend had a knife in his left hand.

'Calm down'

Mr Farrell said: "You struck him repeatedly with the dumbbell and McAuley said: "No, I was shouting at him to stop and calm down."

When asked how many times he hit Mr McCluskey, McAuley said: "I would say three times."

Mr Farrell then said: "You killed him didn't you," and McAuley replied: "Yes."

McAuley said that, when Mr McCluskey was unconscious, he went down into the block of flats' common close and took 20 Valium tablets.

He claimed he could not remember anything until two or three days later when he spoke to his lawyer.

The trial before Lord Mulholland continues.

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