Gunfire was like something in the movies, court hears

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A NEIGHBOUR today told a High Court jury how he heard gunshots like something out of a movie while taking out his wheelie bins.

Dean Buchanan, 33, is alleged to have carried out abduction and torture and his neighbour Brian Docherty described hearing gunfire outside his rural home in West Lothian.

Mr Docherty told the High Court in Perth that he heard loud voices during a commotion before the sound of a gun being fired a number of times.

He said: “I could hear glass windows getting smashed. I heard umpteen. The exact figure I can’t recall. All I could hear was umpteen people arguing with each other.

“Nothing was clear what was being said. It was a rabble. I was going to take my wheelie bin to the bottom of the street. I could hear raised voices and what sounded to me like gunfire.

“It was more than one. It was a kind of popping sound. I am sure everybody in court has watched movies and things and heard gunfire, and it sounded like gunfire to me.”

Mr Docherty was then asked what he did when he heard the shots being fired, and prompted laughter in court when he replied: “I walked a bit faster to me house.”

Mr Docherty, who identified Buchanan as his neighbour in Fauldhouse, West Lothian, said the incident had taken place outside Victoria House, which was occupied by the accused.

He said he then saw a BMW car “flying round the back of Victoria House at high speed” and said he was panicking because he had no idea what was going on.

“At the time I couldn’t see anything. There was broken glass, what appeared to be gunfire and a car flying round. I was in a panic. We stay up a wee farm road and you don’t expect anything like this to happen on your doorstep.”

Mark Morris, who told the jury he had been abducted and tortured by Buchanan and co-accused Fraser Winton, had earlier completed giving his third day of evidence.

He previously told the jury he thought he was going to be killed after being attacked by up to 15 men and hid his false teeth as a trail for the police to follow.

Dean Buchanan, of Whitelaw Drive, Bathgate, and Fraser Winton, 37, of Whitburn Road, Bathgate, deny attacking Mark Morris to his severe injury, permanent disfigurement, permanent impairment and to the danger of his life.

They deny that on 25 and 26 August 2010, while acting with others, they presented a shotgun and lump of concrete at him and drove into a car driven by him, injuring him.

They deny hitting the car with bricks, metal poles and an axe and then hitting Mr Morris, pouring petrol on him and dragging him from the car and forcing him into a van and abducting him.

They deny imprisoning him in the van, driving to various locations in West Lothian while pinning him to the floor, compressing his neck and restricting his breathing.

They deny punching and kicking him on the head and body, repeatedly striking him with a hammer, placing knives against his face, pouring petrol on him, and threatening him with a chainsaw.

The duo also deny demanding he drink petrol, threatening to set fire to him, stubbing cigarettes out in his ears and stabbing him repeatedly with a screwdriver.

They deny threatening to bury him, pressing a gun against his head and threatening to kill him, demanding money from him and robbing him of a ring, a watch and a pair of trainers.

Winton denies attempting to defeat the ends of justice by claiming to police on 6 September that his car had been in a crash on 23 July and had subsequently been stolen.

Buchanan denies three further charges relating to the supply of cannabis, cannabis resin and ecstasy around West Lothian between 1 August 2008 and 25 August 2010.

The trial, before Lord Kinclaven, continues.