Youth accused of Shaun Woodburn murder admits to five other assaults

A 17-year-old youth, accused of the murder of Shaun Woodburn in a New Year street disturbance, has admitted he assaulted five other people that night.

Monday, 9th October 2017, 6:25 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 6:48 am

His friend Mohammed Zakariyah, 19, has also admitted assaulting Hogmanay revellers. He had been charged with murder but his not guilty plea was accepted.

The youth was part of a group involved in altercations across the city starting just before the bells as crowds gathered at the Meadows to watch the fireworks display.

Around two hours later trouble erupted in the street outside Gladstones Bar in Leith where a party was taking place.

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Regulars in the pub received news that another customer had been attacked in the street after leaving there.

The 17-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has admitted he was the assailant in that incident.

He also admitted later being involved in a “scuffle” in the street with one of the pub customers but said he had nothing to do with the fatal injuries sustained by Shaun Woodburn.

Mr Woodburn, 30, died in hospital later that day. Three teenagers had been accused of murder but the youth is the only one still facing that charge.

From the witness box, the teenager said he was assaulted as he joined his friend near the bar. “I remember getting punched. My hat got knocked off. As I picked it up I got punched again,” he told the court.

The youth, who was 16 at the time, said he saw Zakariyah surrounded by five men, two of them armed with pool cues.

As he moved over to try to pull his friend away he claimed he was punched by one of the previous witnesses, pub customer Connor Moore.

“He hit me and we got into a bit of a scuffle. He was trying to tackle me and I fell and ripped my jeans.

I punched him and he fell back. I tried to kick him as he got back up but missed.”

The witness said he was not aware of being punched by Shaun Woodburn and that the only person he was fighting with was Connor Moore.

He also he had not seen Shaun Woodburn being injured and lying in the street.

Cross-examined by advocate-depute Tim Niven-Smith, the youth stated, “I didn’t punch Shaun, no.”

Asking about the assaults earlier that night, Mr Niven-Smith said, “You were hardly a peacemaker on Hogmanay were you?”

“I wasn’t a saint, no,” answered the witness.

The youth denied he was lying about not hitting Shaun Woodburn. “If I did it I would man up and accept the consequences.

I wouldn’t come here and lie to the jury and the judge.”

The youth admitted that in Warrender Park Road he assaulted two men and a woman, brandished a bottle at them and punched Ciarin Hampton on the body.

He also admitted that in Alvaney Terrace, he assaulted Hugh Cullen by punching him on the head causing him to fall backwards and to his severe injury.

The teenager further admitted that in Great Junction Street, he assaulted Michael Smith by repeatedly punching him.

He remains on trial for four charges including the murder of Shaun Woodburn.

The trial, before Lady Stacey, continues.