FORMER Bay City Rollers star Pat McGlynn today vowed to stand by his cousin who is facing trial in Australia accused of murder.
Anthony Prestidge is pleading not guilty to a charge of killing his brother-in-law, 24-year-old Andy Ball, and is set to appear before a Perth court next month.
The ex-Rollers guitarist said his family are convinced the 50-year-old is innocent, telling the Evening News his cousin is a “lovely guy who wouldn’t harm a fly”.
Mr McGlynn said that his cousin lived with his family for several years as a youth at their home in The Jewel, and worked as a roadie for the band in their 1970s heyday. Prestidge, who appeared in Stirling Gardens Magistrates’ Court via video link from Hakea Prison yesterday, is accused of killing Mr Ball in Ellenbrook on or about September 10, 2002, before fleeing to Thailand
Prestidge was arrested in Thailand on minor immigration charges on August 3 last year, and extradited to Western Australia to end a nine-year police manhunt.
Mr McGlynn, 53, who lives in Liberton, said his cousin had been living in Edinburgh and worked as a property developer before travelling to Australia to visit his sister, Angela, who was married to the victim.
He 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.
“The family want to go over and support him, but we don’t know how long the trial will be.”
Prestidge’s mother Eva, 65, lives in Spain with his stepfather, Bob, who is in his 70s and is battling cancer.
Mr McGlynn added: “Tony’s mother is trying to sell her house in Spain to get the money to go to Australia and support him, but with the recession she’s not been able to find a buyer yet.
“I was very close to Tony. He was younger than me and he used to live with us. My dad had a scrapyard in Niddrie and we used to go there to play.
“I used to teach him guitar and things. He was a very good singer himself and had good stage presence. Tony used to come on tour with us as a roadie.
“We didn’t have roadies at that time so he would help out with the equipment.
“I haven’t spoken to him in ten years because we didn’t know where he was. We’re all hoping he gets found not guilty so he can come home.”
Mr McGlynn’s mother, Catherine McGlynn, 82, who still lives in The Jewel, said: “I practically raised Anthony for about five years when he was a schoolboy because his mother was sick.
“He was a scared, timid wee boy when he was young. We used to call him the ‘white mouse’. I think that’s why he ran away to Thailand instead of staying and sorting it out. It was his nerves. He was always like that.
“I was really, really shocked when I found out what he was accused of. I could believe it of anybody else but not Anthony. I know he’s innocent and we’re just hoping he gets out soon.”
Mr Prestidge will appear for the first time in the Supreme Court of Western Australia on April 16.