Man acquitted of Portobello attempted murder

The trial was heard at the High Court in Edinburgh. Picture: Paul Chappells
The trial was heard at the High Court in Edinburgh. Picture: Paul Chappells
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A MAN was today acquitted of attempting to murder a Portobello garage owner - moments after a woman told a jury about how she rushed to help the alleged victim.

James McCann, 41, walked free from the High Court in Edinburgh after prosecutors dropped an allegation that he tried to kill garage owner Gordon Archibald.

The Crown had alleged that Mr McCann, of Glasgow, had repeatedly struck Mr Archibald on the head and body with a blade at the AGS Motors garage in February last year.

But on Monday advocate depute Ashley Edwards told temporary judge Sean Murphy QC that she was no longer seeking a conviction in the case.

The decision came on the first day of the trial against Mr McCann, whose address was given in court documents as being a prisoner in HMP Glenochil.

It came moments after the prosecution’s first witness Caroline Watt,46, told the court how she helped Mr Archibald get medical assistance moments after he appeared before her with stab wounds.

The businesswoman, of Musselburgh, East Lothian, was at the garage with her son to inspect work that staff there were carrying out on a snack van she owned.

She Ms Edwards that she had heard people shouting on the forecourt and then saw a badly injured Mr Archibald standing in front of her.

Ms Watt wept as she told the court: “There was quite a lot of commotion. He was standing in front of me. I didn’t know where he had come from.

“His face was on his shoulders. His face was cut from his ears to his mouth. I had a scarf on. I tied his head together.

“I took Gordon to the hospital. There were cars blocking the way on the garage forecourt- I had to move them. I locked my son in the office.

“I tried to keep him calm. He wasn’t conscious of the fact he was bleeding. I tried to to go to the hospital but the traffic was horrendous. I was tooting my horn. I tried to phone the police.

“He didn’t know his face had been cut - he only knew that he had been stabbed in the stomach.

“He was an emotional wreck.”

The court then heard that Mr Archibald was taken to hospital by ambulance.

Defence advocate Derek Ogg QC chose not to cross examine Ms Watt.

Ms Edwards then told the court that the crown were no longer seeking a conviction against McCann.

Judge Murphy then acquitted McCann, who earlier had pleaded not guilty to the allegation.