A COURT has been told how a murder accused covered in blood and holding a knife calmly asked his neighbours: “Can you help me? I’ve just killed somebody.”
The evidence emerged on the second day of Bertie Hall’s trial for murdering 30-year-old Terry Miller in Whitburn, last December.
Mum-of-two Julie Galloway told a jury that she answered a knock on her door at 3.30pm on the afternoon of December 27 to find her neighbour Hall leaning against the door frame.
She told the High Court in Livingston: “He said: ‘Listen, I’ve just murdered a guy in my house.’”
She said she noticed that there was blood on Hall’s jacket and he was holding a restaurant-style steak knife with a six inch serrated blade in his hand. He also had blood on his hands and his face had bloody scratches down one side, she said.
She said: “He appeared quite sort of calm like he wasn’t flustered or anything. He was there and he said what he said and that was it.”
She said she was concerned for the safety of her two young children and her first instinct was to protect them.
She shut the door in Hall’s face and locked it before running through to grab her son from the back garden.
The jury was played a recording of the four-minute 999 call the 42-year-old civil servant made.
Another of Hall’s neighbours, cleaning company owner Sean Whiteside, 41, said he was getting ready to take his two children and his girlfriend to see The Kelpies when Hall approached him from behind.
He told the jury: “I asked him: ‘What is it?’ and he proceeded to tell me that he’d killed somebody. His exact words were: ‘Excuse me. Can you help me? I’ve killed somebody.’
“I didn’t want my children hearing that someone had been killed and I was just looking to protect them.”
He said Hall, who lived next door to him, looked like he was under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
He added: “It looked like he’d been in some form of altercation because he had a scratch just below the eye and a black eye. He also had some dried blood on his right hand.”
Mr Whiteside said he shouted on his girlfriend to call the police and an ambulance. He asked Hall if he had a knife on him at which the accused pulled a serrated steak knife out of his back pocket and said: ‘Yes’.
Hall, 49, denies murder and has lodged a special defence stating he was acting in self-defence when 30-year-old Terry Miller was killed.
He also pleads not guilty to assaulting Mr Liddell by presenting a knife at him, holding it against his neck and threatening to kill him outside the property the same day.
He further denies possessing a blade in West Main Street and Stewart Drive, Whitburn, without reasonable excuse or lawful authority during the same incident, all while on bail.
The trial, before Lady Scott, continues.