THE cousin of former Bay City Roller Pat McGlynn has been found guilty of murdering his brother-in-law in Australia before fleeing the country.
Anthony Prestidge had denied the charge of killing 24-year-old Andy Ball, but was convicted by a jury after standing trial in Perth.
Ex-Rollers guitarist McGlynn said before the trial that his family was standing by the 51-year-old, describing his cousin as a “lovely guy who wouldn’t harm a fly”.
Prestidge, who lived in Edinburgh before travelling to Australia to visit his sister, had been extradited to Perth from Thailand in 2011 to stand trial over the murder of Mr Ball.
The Supreme Court of Western Australia was told Prestidge bludgeoned Mr Ball in his Ellenbrook house and then fled to Bali.
Prestidge was found living in Thailand and came to the attention of Interpol when he was arrested for minor immigration offences, ending a nine-year manhunt.
Prosecutors told the court that Mr Ball told friends he had been receiving threats and that if anything happened to him, it was his brother-in-law Prestidge who was responsible.
Prestidge claimed he had acted in self-defence because Mr Ball, who was married to his sister, Angela, had come at him with a knife.
The jury deliberated for around four hours before finding him guilty on Tuesday.
Speaking previously to the Evening News, Mr McGlynn said that Prestidge lived with his family for several years as a youth at their home in The Jewel, and worked as a roadie for the Rollers in the 1970s.
Mr McGlynn, 54, said: “We’re sure Tony is innocent. All the family are supporting him. Tony is a lovely guy who wouldn’t harm a fly. He would help anyone, not hurt them. The guy who died was married to my cousin, Tony’s sister.
“Tony went over to Australia to help her because she was the victim of violence from him. He was a dodgy character with a long list of enemies so it could be one of a lot of different people who was responsible.
“Tony then went to Thailand but, from what I’m told, he didn’t even know he was wanted for murder. We were all trying to reach him to tell him the police were looking for him but we didn’t know where he was.”
It was reported in Australia that Angela Ball told the Perth trial of several violent incidents between her late husband and other family members.
Mr Ball was found on the floor of his blood-splattered kitchen with the side of his head caved in on September 12, 2002.
Prestidge is due to be sentenced at a later date.
Mr McGlynn could not be reached for comment today.