Murder accused lied 'to avoid being called a grass'
Steven Dickie admitted giving false statements to police investigating Steven Donaldson's death.
A murder accused has told a court he lied to police because he didn't want to be labelled a "grass".
The High Court in Edinburgh heard Steven Dickie, 24, say he lied to detectives investigating the death of Steven Donaldson, 27, in Kirriemuir, Angus, last year.
Dickie told a jury on Wednesday he was untruthful because he did not want to land his friend and co-accused Callum Davidson, 24, in trouble.
When his lawyer, Ian Duguid QC, asked him why he did this, Dickie said: "I didn't want to be labelled a grass. I didn't want (Davidson) knowing that I was talking to the police."
Dickie was giving evidence on the 15th day of proceedings against him, Davidson and 20-year-old Tasmin Glass.
The trio, who all come from Kirriemuir, deny murdering Mr Donaldson, of Arbroath, at locations in their home town between June 6 and June 7 last year.
On Wednesday, Dickie told the court that he was now telling the truth. Speaking about his police statements, he said: "There was dishonesty there."
The accused, who is currently on remand at Perth Prison, also said that he now wished he had told the truth.
He said: "I suffered from that when I was in prison. After I got to the jail, I sort of wish I had spoken up because of the hassle I got."
Dickie also told Mr Davidson's advocate Jonathan Crowe that even although he repeatedly had sex with Glass, he was not involved in a relationship with her.
When asked about the night of the alleged attack, Dickie told the court he, Davidson and Glass had been waiting in a car for Mr Donaldson.
Dickie said that when the alleged victim arrived Davidson got into his car before it was driven off.
He told the court that Davidson later told him he had "given the boy a hiding".
Prosecutors claim that between June 6 and 7, 2018, Dickie, Davidson and Glass arranged to meet Mr Donaldson, 27, at Peter Pan Play Park in Kirriemuir, Angus, and assaulted him by repeatedly striking him with "unknown instruments".
The trio are then alleged to have taken Mr Donaldson to the nature reserve car park while he was incapacitated.
Once at the park, the Crown claims that Mr Donaldson was struck on the head and body with a knife, baseball bat, and an "unknown heavy bladed instrument".
The accused are then alleged to have set fire to Mr Donaldson and to his car. All three pleaded not guilty and the trial continues.