A TEENAGER who denies murdering his “best friend” has told a court that his life has been destroyed after he struck the man with a baseball bat.
Declan Robertson, 17, of Clarinda Terrace, Edinburgh, said he has received counselling after he and two other men allegedly murdered Brett Lodge, 17, last year.
On Monday, the High Court in Edinburgh heard Mr Robertson say that he struck Brett with the bat during an alleged incident in the city on July 1, 2011.
The court heard Mr Robertson say that Brett then fell over and he could see blood coming from his ear.
He told the court that his life had changed since the alleged incident and that he has received medical help.
Brett – a former pupil of Newbattle High School in Dalkeith, Midlothian – was rushed to hospital but later died from his injuries on July 9 at the Western General Hospital.
Robertson was giving evidence at the start of the third week of the trial in which he, Andrew Parfinowski, 18, and Cameron McKail, 17, deny murdering Brett Lodge in 2011.
The trio earlier pleaded not guilty to a charge alleging that they attacked Brett at a path between the city’s Claverhouse Drive and Glendinning Crescent on July 1 last year.
They also pled not guilty to a charge of attempting to defeat the ends of justice on the same date as the alleged murder.
Robertson’s legal team have also lodged a special defence, with the court stating that their client acted in self-defence during the alleged incident.
Robertson told defence advocate Herbert Kerrigan QC that he had known Brett since nursery.
He said they were “best friends” and were like “brothers”.
The court heard that on the night of the alleged murder, he and Brett Lodge had spent the evening with others at a nearby house and that as the evening progressed, Robertson, Parfinowski and Brett Lodge became involved in an incident close to Claverhouse Drive.
Robertson said that during this incident, he struck Mr Lodge with a baseball bat.
He then told the court that he ran away from where the incident took place, adding that he “was scared” and told Mr Kerrigan: “It has destroyed my life. Basically everything about me is destroyed.”
Robertson, Parfinowski, of Ravenswood Avenue, Edinburgh, and McKail, of Drummond Street, Edinburgh, have pleaded not guilty to murdering Mr Lodge.
The Crown allege that they assaulted Brett by repeatedly punching him on the head and body, repeatedly struck Brett on the head and body with baseball bats before knocking him to the ground and repeatedly kicking and stamping on his head, causing him to be so severely injured that he later died.
A fourth man Bradley Lumsden, 17, of High Street, Prestonpans, East Lothian, was also originally accused of the charges alongside the three men. However, he was acquitted of the charges after the crown accepted his not guilty pleas earlier in the trial.
The trial, before temporary judge John Morris QC, continues on Tuesday.