Boy fled as father murdered mother, court told

Edinburgh High Court. Picture: TSPL
Edinburgh High Court. Picture: TSPL
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A NINE-YEAR-OLD boy told a murder trial yesterday that he ran out of his house in the middle of the night in his pyjamas to get help after his mother asked him to call the police.

The boy said his mother, Kim Campbell, was in the bathroom of their home in Elgin with his father, James Munro, when he heard her shout “Stop it!” and mentioning a knife.

James Munro denies murdering Ms Campbell at the house last November.

The charge alleges that, after dragging her into a locked room, he restricted her breathing, kicked and punched her and repeatedly struck her on the head and body with a knife.

Special arrangements were made so that the nine-year-old – who no longer lives in Elgin – could use a CCTV link to tell his story without coming to court.

Munro sat in the dock at the High Court in Edinburgh with head bowed, only occasionally glancing at the screen showing his son answering questions from lawyers.

The boy told advocate depute Tim Niven-Smith his mother’s pleas sent him searching for his laptop. He wanted to use Facebook to send a message to a friend’s mother to bring her to the house.

But he could not find the computer.

“My mum was still shouting,” he said. “She was shouting ‘Stop it!’”

He continued: “She did say something like ‘That was a knife.’

“Well, at that point I just went downstairs to get my dog. I went to my friend’s house.”

The boy said he thought it was some time in the early morning and still dark outside as he unlocked his front door.

He said it took him about five minutes to get to the neighbour’s house. “We went pretty fast,” he said. His dog kept running about and he had to pick her up.

There were no lights on in the other house, but his friend’s mother came to the door on the second ring of the bell.

“I just said, I just told her what happened and she went to the house to see what was happening,” he continued. Later, he said, a police officer came to see if he was all right and if he could stay with his friend.

The young Celtic fan said that night he and his father had been watching football on television.

At bedtime he went to his parents’ room. “There was a washing pile and I wanted pyjamas.” His mother was in the bedroom fixing her hair.

“My dad took my mum into the toilet. He said: ‘Come here.’

“I ran onto the landing. I just stood there. My mum tried to open the door. I think my dad was trying to close it. He was telling my mum to close it. He was swearing.”

The trial heard the boy could not see his mother, only hear her, and that her shouting made him “upset”.

He also told the court that he and his mother, along with a friend and the friend’s mother, had been on holiday together in Tunisia, where he had enjoyed water-sports.

“Did your mum make any friends when she was there?” asked Mr Niven Smith. The boy told him: “No.”

The boy told defence advocate Tony Graham that he liked being with his father when he was home from working abroad because they did things together.

Munro also denies an earlier assault on Ms Campbell and sending her obscene, menacing and racist messages and calls.

The trial continues.