Murder trial: Lee Duncan was ‘living in fear’

High Court in Edinburgh

High Court in Edinburgh

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A MAN found in a pool of blood had been living in fear, a murder trial heard today.

Lee Duncan, 31, had previously been forced to move across Edinburgh because of allegations of rape, drug-dealing and being a police informer, a jury was told.

There were parts of the city where he would not set foot, his door was always locked and he kept a hammer under his bed “for safety”.

“Lee was scared of his own shadow,” said his sister, Melanie Purdie, 39.

The High Court in Edinburgh has heard how Mr Duncan’s body was found in the bedroom of his flat in Tollcross on February 25, 2011.

Gary Parker, 45, his then-neighbour in Lauriston Place, denies murdering him there.

Revenues and benefits officer Mrs Purdie described how her brother had disconnected the buzzer in his flat. To get into the stair she had to phone him.

When she chapped his door, Mr Duncan looked through the peep-hole before letting her in, then locked the door again, immediately.

Mum and sister said they knew Mr Duncan had a drug problem and was prescribed Methadone to wean him off heroin.

“He was better than he had been, but yes,” said Mrs Purdie. “Previous to that he was taking a lot of drugs but he seemed to be trying to straighten himself out.”

Parker, now of Guardwell Glen, Gilmerton, denies murdering Mr Duncan – also known as Lee Canning – on February 24 2011.

It is alleged that he attacked Mr Duncan with a claw hammer, or something similar, in Mr Duncan’s flat in Lauriston Place – repeatedly hitting him on the head and body and compressing his neck with a belt or cable, standing on his neck to strangle him.

The murder charge also alleges that Parker robbed Mr Duncan of drugs.

Parker says he has an alibi, claiming he was in his own flat in Lauriston Place at the time and blames two other men or the murder.

Parker also denies attempting to defeat the ends of justice by washing blood from himself and disposing of clothing and the hammer in order to destroy evidence.

He further denies threatening and swearing at Mr Duncan a month or so before the alleged murder and sending him menacing phone messages threatening to kill him.

Parker also faces a number of drug charges, which he denies.

The trial continues.