Accused ‘was coming to woman’s aid’ at time of alleged murder

James Gatti was killed in 2017.
James Gatti was killed in 2017.

A MAN who allegedly committed murder claims he came to the defence of a woman who was being attacked by the deceased, a court has heard.

Paul Beattie,46, allegedly killed James Gatti by stabbing him repeatedly with a knife at Guardwell Glen in Gilmerton, Edinburgh, on July 29 2017.

On Monday, lawyers acting for Mr Beattie lodged a special defence at the High Court in Edinburgh on behalf of their client.

It stated that Mr Beattie was assisting a female called Louise McCulloch at the time of the alleged offence. It also claimed that she was being “attacked” by Mr Gatti.

The developments came on the first day of proceedings against Mr Beattie.

READ MORE: James Gatti killer to stand trial for murder after plea rejected

He denies a charge of murder and five other charges.

On the first day of proceedings, jurors heard the contents of a legal document.

Prosecutors claim that on July 29 2017, at an address in Guardwell Close Mr Beattie ‘culpably and recklessly’ threw a bottle of alcohol which struck a woman called Millie Anderson. It’s also claimed that he had a knife in his possession at this time without having a “reasonable excuse or lawful authority”.

The third charge states that Mr Beattie assaulted Kevin Cole and Ryan Watters and brandished a knife at them. He is also said to have tried to strike Mr Watters with the knife.

The fourth allegation is the murder charge. Jurors heard that Mr Gatti died at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary Hospital on July 30 2017.

Prosecutors also claim that Mr Beattie assaulted a police officer called Callum Wilson by spitting at him at the same hospital on July 30 2017.

It’s also alleged that he committed a breach of the peace at the hospital by behaving in a “threatening and abusive” manner on July 30 2017.

He is alleged to have shouted, swore, struggled and spat at police officers.

Mr Beattie, whose address has been given in legal documents as being a prisoner of HMP Perth, has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

The trial, which is being heard before judge Lady Scott, continues on Tuesday.

Join our Facebook group Our Edinburgh to share images and news from and around the Capital

Know someone that makes a difference in our community? Nominate them for a Local Hero Award HERE