Bellshill murder accused admits attacking best pal

Mark Donnelly
Mark Donnelly

A man accused of murdering his best friend has admitted punching and kicking the victim shortly before his death.

Martin MacMaikin (28), of Crofthead Crescent, Bellshill, was giving evidence at the High Court in Glasgow.

He and Amanda Cook (22), of Manse Avenue, Coatbridge, are accused of killing Mark Donnelly in Hozier Street, Coatbridge, on May 26 this year.

It is alleged they punched and kicked Mr Donnelly (27), of Muirhouse Tower, Motherwell, and jumped and stamped on his head and body before attempting to destroy evidence.

The court heard that MacMaikin and Mr Donnelly were ‘lifelong and best friends’. Mr Donnelly was also friendly with Cook although MacMaikin didn’t know her before the fatefel night.

The three were together on waste ground when a fight broke out.

Giving evidence, MacMaikin claimed Cook was angry because Mr Donnelly made advances to her.

MacMaikin admitted punching and kicking Mr Donnelly several times and breaking his nose.

Asked why his heel print should be on the chest area of the football top the victim was wearing, MacMaikin said he kicked Mr Donnelly on the chest, but denied stamping on him when he was on the ground.

MacMaikin claimed he left Mr Donnelly and Cook. At that time Mr Donnelly was on his feet, but when he returned to the scene a short time later Mr Donnelly was lying on the ground ‘groaning’.

MacMaikin admitted his evidence was different from what he he had told the police. In his police statement he made no mention of leaving the scene and said Cook was not involved in the attack.

Asked about that, he told Tony Graham, defending Cook: “I felt sorry for Amanda. I didn’t want her to do time for this.”

MacMaikin admitted being ‘stoned’ on the night of Mr Donnelly’s death, having taken drink, cannabis and valium.

But he denied Mr Graham’s allegation that ‘the red mist descended’ and he had gone into a ‘frenzied rage’.

MacMaikin was also accused by the prosecution of trying to ‘blacken’ Mr Donnelly’s name by saying he had tried to force himself on Cook, a claim Cook herself had denied.

The trial continues.