Tayside and Central Scotland

Neomi Smith: Murder trial hears boyfriend heard 'someone running' from scene

Neomi Smith Image copyright Police Scotland/BBC
Image caption Neomi Smith died last year in Brechin

A man accused of murdering his girlfriend claimed he found her lying injured in her flat and then heard "someone running", a court has heard.

Keith Rizzo denies killing 23-year-old Neomi Smith - who was originally from Aberdeen - at her flat in Brechin on 9 June last year.

The High Court in Glasgow heard Mr Rizzo was questioned by detectives hours after her death.

He claimed Miss Smith had been getting "bother" from a former boyfriend.

Jurors heard Mr Rizzo being interviewed by police.

He recalled how they had been at a local bar in Brechin before returning to Miss Smith's flat.

The court heard Mr Rizzo stated he went for a wash after getting back.

He then told detectives: "I was showering and (then) it was just an almighty bang.

"I just heard a door getting slammed and then she screamed my name."

'She just gasped'

Mr Rizzo said he initially thought Miss Smith had "done something stupid".

He went on to claim his partner was "just lying there" in a blood-stained kitchen.

Mr Rizzo added: "She managed to just have enough breath and she was like: 'I love..'

"That was it - she just gasped and there was nothing. I was holding her, checking her pulse, couldn't get nothing..."

Mr Rizzo stated he and Miss Smith would have "small petty arguments".

He went on: "God - I really feel it now. We've built all this together and someone's torn it away."

An officer asked: "So, did you see anybody in the flat at all?"

'Should never see it'

Mr Rizzo said: "There was the sound of someone running."

He said he was unsure where it was coming from.

The detective asked if he saw Miss Smith.

He replied: "You should never see it - a young woman lying there. We're 23 years old."

Mr Rizzo earlier told police Miss Smith had spotted a person lurking nearby as they returned from the pub.

He said: "We were walking and she was like: 'Someone's standing there with their hood up. I said: 'shut up'."

He further claimed in the interview Miss Smith in the "past while" had "a lot of bother" from a former partner.

The trial, before Lady Rae, continues.

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