Witness tells court she saw knife attack victim's intestines hanging out

A witness has told a court how she saw her partner's son's intestines hanging out his stomach moments after he was allegedly stabbed by a neighbour.

Tuesday, 26th June 2018, 6:08 pm
Updated Tuesday, 26th June 2018, 6:13 pm
James Gatti lost his life last July.

Lorraine Cole, 50, told jurors that she had been celebrating her birthday with loved ones when James Gatti, her ex-husband’s son, sustained an injury at her home in Gilmerton last July.

The high court in Edinburgh heard on Tuesday how she heard her son Kevin scream that a party goer called Paul had struck James with a knife.

She said she then saw James clutching his belly. She then said he took his hand away and she saw that his internal body parts had been exposed.

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Ms Cole said: “I just heard Kevin scream. It was either ‘Paul’s just stabbed my bro or Paul has just stabbed James.’

“He was standing in my kitchen. He had his hand on his belly - it was his right hand. James was just standing there.

“James was staring at me. He took his hand away from his belly and I saw the mess he was in.

“I tried to run to him but I just had sticky feet.

“He kept saying he couldn’t breathe properly. He kept trying to stand up and Kevin’s saying ‘just lie there bro’.

“He was getting more and more anxious and Kevin said ‘Just let him stand up.’

“He stood up and he walked to the front door and then he collapsed.”

Ms Cole, of Edinburgh, was giving evidence on the second day of proceedings against Paul Beattie, 46.

Mr Beattie, of Gilmerton, Edinburgh, denies murdering Mr Gatti and other charges.

On Tuesday, Ms Cole told prosecution lawyer David Taylor how had thrown a birthday party on July 29 last year at her home in Guardwell Glen.

She told the court of how she had a “lovely”, “fun filled day” with members of her family and loved ones.

Ms Cole told the court that she invited Mr Beattie who lived nearby.

She told the jury that the atmosphere at the party changed when he arrived with his girlfriend Louise at around 8pm that evening.

Ms Cole told the court that Louise started to argue with guests and that she became so anxious about what was happening that she decided to end the party.

She said that she asked her son Kevin to ask people to leave. But Mr Beattie, his girlfriend and other guests started arguing outside.

Ms Cole said she managed to get some guests indoors. But then she heard Kevin scream about how his step brother had been injured.

Ms Cole said she phoned 999. The recording of the call was played to jurors who heard Ms Cole tell the operator that her step son’s intestines were hanging out of his belly.

She then told Mr Taylor that she can remember seeing James’s intestines.

Ms Cole added: “It all happened so quickly.

“To tell you the truth it was mayhem, there was shock. There was terror.”

Prosecutors claim that on July 29 2017, Mr Beattie murdered Mr Gatti at Guardwell Glen by striking him repeatedly with a knife.

It’s also claimed that on the same date and at the same location, Mr Beattie culpably and recklessly threw a bottle of alcohol into a house at Guardwell Glen, Edinburgh, and it struck a woman called Millie Anderson.

The Crown also claims that Mr Beattie broke the law at the time of the alleged murder by having a knife in his possession “without reasonable excuse or lawful authority”.

Mr Beattie also allegedly assaulted Kevin Cole and Ryan Watters by brandishing knives at them. Prosecutors claim Mr Beattie attempted to strike Mr Watters with the knife.

The Crown also claims that on July 30 2017, Mr Beattie assaulted a police officer called Callum Wilson by spitting at him at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary Hospital.

Mr Beattie is also alleged to have committed a breach of the peace at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary on July 30 2017 by behaving in a “threatening and abusive manner”.

Mr Beattie, a prisoner of HMP Perth, has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

His lawyers have lodged a special defence of self defence on behalf of their client.

It states that Mr Beattie was assisting a woman called Louise McCulloch at the time of the alleged offence.

The defence claims that she was being “attacked” by Mr Gatti at the time of his alleged crimes.

The trial, before judge Lady Scott, continues.

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