Max Evans trial: Same incident in nightclub, two very different versions of events
IT WAS the same incident, but the first version of events in Lulu nightclub was hugely different from the last account heard by the jury over the course of a five-day trial.
As the case opened, nothing more was known than the charge revealed – that Scotland rugby star Max Evans had struck Alasdair McCaig with a glass to the face, but he pleaded self-defence.
Mr McCaig was the prosecution’s first witness. He said he was standing, sipping champagne and catching up with his sister and a friend. With no warning, someone approached from the side and put a glass into his face.
A “slightly flabbergasted” Mr McCaig saw the person “hastily” heading for the door of the VIP lounge, while blood began to pour from his wound. He insisted he had not recognised him. It was only later that the police told him the person was Max Evans.
Lisa McCaig, 37, said her brother had been assaulted “out of the blue”.
Her brother’s friend, David Wilson, 30, was the first to speak of an exchange of words, a “verbal confrontation”, between Mr McCaig and Mr Evans. However, he had no idea what was said before Mr Evans threw a punch while holding a champagne flute.
Christopher Webb, 31, a former teammate of Evans at London Scottish, told the court that in May 2009, when Max and his brother Thom were established internationalists, he had taken a team to St Andrews for a sevens tournament and the brothers had attended as supporters. Mr McCaig was also there, and he and the brothers had been at an after-tournament party.
Asked for his reaction to a suggestion by Mr McCaig that, some 15 months later, he had not known who Max Evans was, Mr Webb replied: “Surprise.”
Sarah Jane Bell, 28, was with Mr Evans in the lounge and she said she became uncomfortable by Mr McCaig’s behaviour and took Mr Evans by the hand to lead him away. It was while she had her back to the men that any physical contact occurred.
The final witness, Mr Evans, was the only person to speak to a first blow by Mr McCaig. He told the jury he had heard someone call out in the VIP lounge: “Evans, what are you doing in Edinburgh? F*** off back to Glasgow.” Over the next 20 minutes, the man kept chipping in with insults, calling Evans and his brother “f******” . A few months earlier, Thom had suffered a life-threatening injury playing for Scotland, and his brother broke down in tears as he recalled the accident.
Mr Evans said Ms Bell had taken his right hand to lead him away, and he had a champagne glass in his left hand.
“He said, ‘Sorry about tonight, mate. Sorry if I have been hard on you.’ It was not a sincere apology. He said, ‘I still think you and your brother are f******.’ I said, ‘What’s your problem?’ I think I used the word ‘p****’,” Mr Evans testified.
“He then assaulted me… I put my hand out to push him away… to defend myself… I did not realise I had the glass in my hand.”
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Saturday 25 May 2013
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