Three men on trial accused of killing businessman

Alexander Ormiston died two weeks after the robbery
Alexander Ormiston died two weeks after the robbery
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THREE men have gone on trial accused of killing a businessman who was allegedly attacked and taken hostage as part of a £5,000 robbery.

Alexander Ormiston, 63, ran a haulage business, Ormiston Transport, based at Leith Docks, the High Court in Edinburgh was told.

Brian Kennedy, 31, Paul Breslin, 41, and Ian Oliver, 26, deny a charge of culpable homicide which alleges they assaulted, abducted and robbed Mr Ormiston on 19 May last year, and inflicted injuries from which he died two weeks later in the Western General Hospital, Edinburgh.

It is claimed the men had their faces masked when they forced their way into Mr Ormiston’s home in Rosyth, Fife, and brandished knives at him and restrained him with handcuffs or something similar. Repeated demands were made for money, it is said, and knives were held against his neck and a firearm or imitation firearm was presented at him.

According to the indictment, Mr Ormiston was repeatedly punched and kicked, and was taken in his car over the Forth Road Bridge to the Bank of Scotland at Newkirkgate, Leith, where he was forced to withdraw £5,000 from his account.

Douglas Pugh, 42, a vehicle examiner, told the court he went to Mr Ormiston’s premises in Leith Docks about 10.30am on 19 May, intending to carry out an unannounced spot check of his vehicles. He saw that Mr Ormiston’s face was swollen and discoloured, with purple markings to a cheek.

“He seemed a bit unsteady...swaying. I said, ‘Are you okay?’ He said, ‘Not really son.’ I put my hand under his armpit just to support him. I didn’t know if he had suffered a stroke or one of those conditions,” said Mr Pugh.

Mr Ormiston’s speech was also slow and slurred, but Mr Pugh did not smell alcohol from him. It was arranged that he would return another day to do his check.

The trial continues.