Trial told man could have died after attack in Bellshill

George Milne is on trial at High Court in Glasgow.
George Milne is on trial at High Court in Glasgow.

The victim of an alleged attack in Bellshill would have died had it not been for emergency medical treatment, a trial at the High Court in Glasgow has been told.

Mark Docherty remains in hospital after suffering severe head injuries at a house in Baird Place more than six months ago.

On trial is George Milne (36), a prisoner, who denies punching Mr Docherty repeatedly on the head to his severe injury, permanent impairment, permanent disfigurement and to the danger of his life on August 29 last year.

A doctor who gave evidence said Mr Docherty was unresponsive when admitted to Monklands Hospital. He was transferred to Glasgow’s Southern General Hospital and the doctor said he would have died but for his treatment there.

The court heard that Mr Docherty had been with Milne and Stephen McGivern at Mr McGivern’s home in Baird Place and the men had been drinking.

Mr McGivern said he fell asleep and woke up to find Mr Docherty covered in blood.

He told police his pal had sustained his injuries by falling down the stairs, but forensic scientist Joanne Cochrane said her examination of the house suggested a different scenario - that Mr Docherty had been attacked.

She said that although Mr Docherty’s blood was found in an upstairs bedroom and bathroom there were no bloodstains on the staircase or in the hall below.

Ms Cochrane told the jury: “There was nothing to suggest a person had fallen down the stairs and been injured.”

She added that ‘impact spattered bloodspots’ found on a television set in the living room had probably come from a bleeding Mr Docherty being struck further blows.

Blood was also found on an armchair next to the TV and it was likely he had been assaulted there.

The court also heard that clothes and shoes belonging to Milne were taken from a house in Coniston Drive, Bellshill, more than a week after the alleged attack. There were no traces of blood on any of the items.

Mr Docherty’s blood was found on the clothes and shoes of Mr McGivern, but the forensic scientist said, given the ‘pattern and distribution of the bloodstaining’, there was ‘no suggestion’ he was involved in an assault on Mr Docherty. The blood could have got on his clothes as he tended to the victim.

Police quizzed Milne about the alleged attack on September 7, but when charged he told them: “I never did anything like that.”

The trial continues.