Murder trial told of taxi driver's 'fright'

Image caption,
Gary McMillan was pronounced dead in the city's Lawton Terrace

A taxi driver has told a trial of his "fright" when a murder accused asked him to hold a knife for him on the day of the alleged killing.

The driver gave evidence on the first day of the trial of Arran Fender, 31, who denies killing Gary McMillan, 44, in Dundee on 16 May last year.

Mr Fender has lodged a special defence of self defence.

Paul Fordyce said that Mr Fender produced the knife while sitting in his cab in the city's Lawton Terrace.

The jury was told previously that Mr McMillan lived in Lawton Terrace.

Mr Fordyce told the High Court in Edinburgh that he had picked up Mr Fender a short time before.

Mr Fordyce said his passenger appeared to be a "little bit agitated" and that he could smell alcohol from him.

He said when he arrived at Lawton Place, Mr Fender took out a knife and asked him to hold it.

Mr Fordyce said: "I believe it was in his waistband but I'm not 100 per cent sure.

"He said: "Hold that for a second, mate.""

'Potentially violent'

Mr Fordyce said he "got a bit of a fright" and dropped the knife.

He said Mr Fender laughed and said: "Ha, ha, your prints will be on that, mate", and added, "don't worry mate. I'll wipe them off."

Mr Fordyce said that Mr Fender was "half in, half out" of the taxi and started shouting at a woman in the direction of nearby flats.

Mr Fordyce then said Mr Fender started shouting on a man called Gary.

Mr Fordyce said: "He said: "You know better than to come down here Gary.""

The taxi driver said a man then came out of a flat and stood at the top of the stairs.

Mr Fordyce said he saw Mr Fender speaking to a woman and then drove off shortly afterwards.

When asked why he drove away, Mr Fordyce said: "Obviously, he had a knife and he was potentially violent."

Denies charges

Prosecutors allege Mr Fender inflicted blunt force trauma to Mr McMillan and repeatedly struck him on the body with a knife or similar instrument.

Mr Fender is also accused of attempting to pervert the course of justice.

It is alleged he gave his mother clothes and footwear he had been wearing when he allegedly stabbed Mr McMillan and asked her to dispose of them in a rubbish chute at Lansdowne Court, Dundee.

Mr Fender is also accused of possessing a knife on 15 May and threatening Mr McMillan with a knife between 1 February and 31 March.

He denies all the charges against him.

The trial, before judge Lady Carmichael, continues.