Murder victim ‘begged his attackers to stop’

Witnesses say Brett Lodge was hit with baseball bats
Witnesses say Brett Lodge was hit with baseball bats
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A TEENAGE murder victim cried out “just leave me alone” before being punched and beaten with baseball bats, a court has heard.

Joseph Smith told the court that he heard 17-year-old Brett Lodge beg his attackers to stop during a brutal assault at a house party.

The 17-year-old said that he had tried to help the injured teenager as he lay on the ground “screaming and trying to move about”.

The former Holy Rood High School pupil said he watched as Declan Robertson and Cameron McKail struck the victim on each side of the temple with the bats. The court also heard that Mr Smith tried to push away Andrew Parfinowski, who was punching the victim during the assault.

Mr Smith was giving evidence yesterday on the fourth day of the trial of Parfinowski, 18, Robertson, 17, McKail, 17, and Bradley Lumsden, 17.

The four teenagers have all denied murdering Mr Lodge on July 9 last year and attempting to defeat the ends of justice by trying to hide evidence related to the alleged attack.

Mr Smith, who now works as a sign writer and care home assistant since leaving school last October, told the court that he had attended the house party with his girlfriend.

He said that he saw Robertson holding a baseball bat in an upstairs bedroom of the house while a group of friends played on an Xbox.

Mr Smith said a large group of teenagers attending the party had later gathered outside where Robertson, McKail and Parfinowski were confronting Mr Lodge.

He said: “Andy [Parfinowski] was punching Brett on the back of the head. Brett turned round and shouted at Andy, ‘Just leave me alone’.

“Brett had his hands up. Declan and Cameron hit with the bats once on each side of the head. Brett fell forward.”

Mr Smith said that he and a friend moved Mr Lodge on to his back and found he was “out cold”.

He added: “Brett started waking up. He was screaming and trying to move about. He was making noises and trying to move around. I stayed until the ambulance came.”

Following the attack, Mr Smith said he went to the hospital but was unable to see his friend who was being treated by doctors.

The court heard extracts from a statement Mr Smith gave to police on July 7 last year. He told officers that he pushed Parfinowski away during the attack and shouted at him, “you’ve had enough”.

Mr Lodge later died from his injuries at the Western General on July 9 last year.

Earlier the court heard evidence from Daryl Smith, 16, a sixth-year pupil at Liberton High School who also attended the party.

Ms Smith said she had been in the upstairs bedroom and saw an argument breaking out between Mr Lodge and others, including Robertson. She added that party-goers spilled outside to a grassy area next to the house where she witnessed the attack.

She said: “Declan hit him with the bat. I only saw him hit him once. It was on the head.

“Declan ran away and Andy kicked Brett when he was on the floor.”

The trial before temporary judge John Morris QC