Woman saw murder suspect commit bat attack, court hears

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A WOMAN has told a jury of the moment she witnessed a teenage murder suspect repeatedly strike his alleged victim with a baseball bat.

Nicole Blues, 17, told the High Court in Edinburgh on Thursday that she saw Declan Robertson,17, assault Brett Lodge in the city on July 1 last year.

Miss Blues, of Drylaw, Edinburgh, told the court that Mr Robertson and Mr Lodge,17, became involved in a confrontation near Claverhouse Drive.

The court heard the alleged incident took place after a party that was held at the home of Bradley Lumsden,17,.

Miss Blues told the court that she saw Mr Robertson strike Mr Lodge’s ribs and head with the baseball bat.

She also told the court that she witnessed another man called Andrew Parfinowski,18, kick Mr Lodge on the head as he lay on the ground. She also witnessed Mr Parfinowski deliver a blow to Mr Lodge’s body.

Mr Lodge was rushed to hospital following the alleged confrontation and he later died from his injuries at Edinburgh’s Western General on July 9.

Miss Blues was giving evidence on the second day of the trial of Declan Robertson, Andrew Parfinowski, Cameron McKail,17, and Bradley Lumsden.

The quartet have all pleaded not guilty to charges of murdering Mr Lodge and attempting to defeat the ends of justice by trying to hide evidence related to the alleged attack on Brett.

Miss Blues told the court that on the night Brett was allegedly attacked, she had been at a party in Bradley Lumsden’s house.

Miss Blues said that there were “20 maybe more people” attending the get together. The court heard that Brett Lodge was also there.

She said that as the night progressed, an incident occurred on ground near to the house where the party was being held.

Miss Blues said she witnessed Declan Robertson hit Mr Lodge in the ribs and on the head with a baseball bat.

During the alleged confrontation, the court also heard that Mr Lodge punched Mr Parfinowski.

As the incident developed, Miss Blues said she saw Mr Lodge lying on the ground - she then witnessed Mr Parfinowski kick Mr Lodge on the head as he lay there. She said she wasn’t sure whether it was a powerful kick.

She then said she saw Mr Parfinowski strike Mr Lodge on the body.

Later the trial heard from teenager Brett Duncan,16, who also attended the party at Mr Lumsden’s house.

Mr Duncan, who works for a plumbing and heating company, said that before the alleged incident, there was a “good atmosphere” in Mr Lumsden’s home.

He said that people were playing with an X Box games console. Mr Duncan also said that he thought Brett Lodge was happy.

Mr Duncan told the court: “He was drunk, talking and laughing.”

He also told the court that later in the evening, he also saw Mr Robertson strike Mr Lodge with a baseball bat on the head.

Prosecution lawyers allege the four men attacked Brett at a path between Claverhouse Drive and Glendinning Crescent in Edinburgh.

It is alleged that they assaulted Brett - who the court heard was nicknamed Hancock - by repeatedly punching him on the head and body.

It is then alleged that the four men then repeatedly struck Brett on the head and body with baseball bats before knocking him to the ground.

The Crown allege that the accused men then repeatedly kicked and stamped on his head causing him to be so severely injured that he died on July 9 2011 at Edinburgh’s Western General Hospital.

In the second charge, prosecution lawyers claim that on July 1 2011 at 54 Claverhouse Drive in Edinburgh, the four men hid the two baseball bats that were used on the alleged attack on Brett.

The charge also states that at various addresses in Edinburgh, Andrew Parfinowski, spat on his shoes and caused himself to vomit on his footwear.

It is also alleged that Mr Parfinowski told a woman called Lauren Finnie not to reveal to anyone that she had seen him kick Brett Lodge when he was on the ground.

The Crown allege that these actions were carried out in a bid to avoid detection, arrest and prosecution for the murder of Brett Lodge and that they “did thus attempt to defeat the ends of justice.”

Mr Robertson, of Clarinda Terrace, Edinburgh is represented by Herbert Kerrigan QC.

Mr Parfinowski, of Ravenswood Avenue, Edinburgh is represented by solicitor advocate Brian Gilfedder. Mr McKail, of Drummond Street, Edinburgh, is represented by Gordon Jackson QC.

Mr Lumsden, of High Street, Prestonpans, East Lothian is represented by Donald Findlay QC.

The trial before temporary judge John Morris QC continues on Friday.