Hawick murder trial home move claims

Image caption, The two men deny murdering Mr McColm in his own home in Hawick

A court has been told social workers were trying rehouse a Scottish Borders man shortly before he was murdered in his own home.

Tenancy support worker Ian McHutchison said Christopher McColm, 41, was having problems with neighbours in Hawick.

Aleksandr Podgornoi, 25, and Vladimir Jakovlev, 24, are accused of murdering Mr McColm on 2 April.

They have denied the charges against them, at the High Court in Edinburgh, claiming self-defence.

Mr McHutchison told the court how he had gone to Mr McColm's home in Beattie Court to carry out an assessment.

He said: "Chris was quite pleased that he was maybe going to get another property and happy to move out of the house he was in.

"He said he would have been happy to stay there but couldn't put up with the noise."

When asked by advocate depute Bruce Erroch, prosecuting, what Mr McColm was like, Mr Hutchison replied: "He was quite a gentle guy, quite a nice guy.

"He was always willing to take advice and he was very likeable.

"Chris very seldom raised his voice, very seldom argued with me over any issues I had."

The two men are accused of forcing entry to Mr McColm's home and murdering him.

Feeling scared

They are alleged to have repeatedly punched and kicked him, stamped on his head and body and struck him with various implements.

They are also accused of previously showing malice and ill will towards their alleged victim.

Both men deny the charges against them and a special defence of self-defence has been lodged.

The court also heard from Mr McColm's sister, Carol Walker.

She said her brother, who died in hospital on 3 April, had complained about the noise at his home but it had just kept going.

Ms Walker said he had also spoken of feeling scared.

The trial continues.

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