NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Bailey Gwynne: Schoolboy stabbed after 'biscuit row'

Bailey Gwynne Image copyright Police Scotland
Image caption Bailey Gwynne died in October

A teenager at an Aberdeen school was fatally stabbed after a row broke out over a biscuit, a murder trial has heard.

Bailey Gwynne, 16, died after being stabbed at Cults Academy in October last year.

A witness told the court the accused had pulled a knife or some kind of sharp object from a pocket and thrust it towards Bailey.

The 16-year-old accused, who cannot be named for legal reasons, denies murder.

On the first day of the trial, the jury at the High Court in Aberdeen was told in a joint minute it had been agreed that the accused became engaged in a fight with Bailey and the victim was struck with a knife and suffered a "penetrating stab wound to the heart".

The witness, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, was asked how the argument between the accused and Bailey had begun.

He told the court that Bailey had some biscuits and another boy wanted one, then Bailey and the accused began name-calling and punching each other.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Head teacher Anna Muirhead said a member of staff had come to her office to alert her to the fight

He said he did not remember who started it, and defence counsel Ian Duguid QC produced a statement which the witness gave to police after the incident.

A passage read to court said: "[The accused] said something like your mum's fat, then Bailey lashed out at him.

"Bailey grabbed hold of [the accused] and pushed him about. [The accused] started to defend himself and they've started grappling."

Asked by Mr Duguid: "Is this the way it was?", the witness said: "I think so."

Computing teacher Alasdair Sharp, 28, said he saw the two engaged in "what looked to be a scuffle".

He said: "I asked them what was going on. One of them said 'he called my mother fat'."

The teacher led the two along a communal area known as "the street" towards an office.

Mr Sharp said: "As I got to towards the end of the street I turned around and I saw Bailey staggering towards the wall.

"[The accused] was a wee bit behind him, was moving towards him looking like he was going to help him."

The teacher said Bailey made it to the wall and he noticed he was very pale.

He told the court: "At this point I noticed the trail of blood going along the street, where we'd come from."

Mr Sharp added: "To begin with he seemed fairly coherent but as events unfolded he began to lose consciousness."

Head teacher Anna Muirhead, 57, told the court that a staff member had come to her office during lunch break and told her there had been a fight and an ambulance had been called.

Ms Muirhead said she left her office and saw Bailey lying on the ground by the reception area, with staff members around him.

She said: "I knew immediately it was very, very serious."

Image caption The accused cannot be identified for legal reasons

A first responder started working on Bailey and he was then taken to hospital by ambulance.

Mrs Muirhead, 57, described seeing the accused sitting nearby, distraught, and that he had indicated what had happened was his fault.

Jason Parker, a police scene examiner, said a knife was found in a bin in the school after the incident.

The murder charge against the 16 year-old claims he did "engage in fighting" with Bailey and struck him on the body with a knife.

In addition, the accused is also alleged to have had knives or "bladed instruments" as well as two knuckledusters at school "without reasonable excuse or lawful authority" on various occasions between 1 August 2013 and the day of the alleged murder.

The trial, before judge Lady Stacey, is expected to last several days.

The law on media identification of children in criminal court cases changed in September last year.

The age at which the media are prohibited from identifying children who are involved in court proceedings, whether as a victim, witness or accused, was raised to apply to anyone under 18.

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