Journalist ‘tried to strangle murder accused in love row’

Thomas Allwood was invited back from the pub by Robert Montgomery
Thomas Allwood was invited back from the pub by Robert Montgomery
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A DAD has told a murder trial that an Australian journalist he invited home from the pub tried to strangle his son on the living room floor in a row over a woman.

Robert Montgomery threw the man out of his home, but said his son, Kyle, followed the visitor armed with a bread knife.

He returned a short time later with the blade stained with blood, the High Court at Livingston was told yesterday.

Kyle Montgomery, 24, denies murdering Australian journalist Thomas Allwood, 55, on June 21. Montgomery, from Winchburgh, West Lothian, denies assaulting the deceased, repeatedly punching him on the head and body, pursuing him with a knife and striking him on the body with a knife.

Dad Robert, 65, a self-confessed alcoholic, told how he befriended the murder victim and his girlfriend, Maggie, in a pub near his home in Broxburn and invited them to his house for a drink.

When they got there, Mr Montgomery said, Maggie sat beside the accused while Mr Montgomery and the Australian talked on another couch.

He said he felt uncomfortable because he thought the woman, who was in her 40s, was behaving “inappropriately” towards his son, rubbing his hand and putting her head in his lap.

He said he asked Mr Allwood: “Are you going to do something about that?” and he responded: “He can have her.”

Mr Montgomery went upstairs to the toilet at around 2am and returned a few minutes later to find his son pinned to the floor by Mr Allwood. He said the Australian had his foot on the younger man’s chest and both hands clamped around his neck, “strangling him”.

He told the jury: “I could see the fear in Kyle’s eyes. I told him [Allwood] to get off and he ran out the back door.

“He came back about ten minutes later. He was banging on the back door real loud. I opened it and he tried to come through the door like a raging bull, going for Kyle.

“Kyle got up, pushed me out of the way and pushed him out into the back garden.”

Mr Montgomery said that a few minutes later his son also left the house, but returned shortly afterwards, and grabbed a bread knife.

He said he didn’t hear or see anything happening outside because he remained inside on the sofa.

Advocate depute Martin Macari asked him: “What’s the next thing you remember happening?”

He replied: “Him [Kyle] coming back in again about five minutes later. There was blood on the knife.”

He said he took the knife from his son and put it back in the cutlery drawer.

Under cross-examination, Mr Montgomery confirmed that he had told police that the Australian man had said something like “I’ll kill him” as he was throttling the accused.

He added: “Kyle was scared and wasn’t fighting back.”

Mr Montgomery said his son had been treated for depression after being bullied at school for having an English accent.

The trial continues.