Murder victim tried to strangle accused in fight over a woman

Thomas Allwood, found dead in Broxburn, West Lothian, on June 20 2012.
Thomas Allwood: The 55-year-old was found dead in Broxburn earlier this year.

A father has told a murder trial that a man he invited home from the pub tried to strangle his son during an argument about a woman.

Robert Montgomery said he threw Thomas Allwood out of his home minutes later, but his son Kyle followed him armed with a bread knife.

He returned a short time later with the blade covered in blood, the High Court at Livingston was told on Tuesday.

Kyle Montgomery, 24, has pleaded not guilty to murdering Australian journalist Mr Allwood, 55, on June 21.

Montgomery, from Winchburgh, West Lothian, denies assaulting the deceased, repeatedly punching him on the head and body, pursuing him with a knife and striking him on the body with a knife.

Mr Montgomery, 65, a self-confessed alcoholic, told how he had gone drinking in a local pub that night after his son gave him £20 for Father's Day. He befriended Mr Allwood and his girlfriend Maggie in a pub in Broxburn, West Lothian, and invited them back to his house for a drink.

When they got there, Maggie sat down beside the accused while Mr Montgomery and the Australian sat talking on another couch.

He said he felt uncomfortable because he thought the woman, who was in her 40s, was behaving "inappropriately" towards his son, rubbing his hand and putting her head in his lap.

He asked Mr Allwood "are you going to do something about that?" and he responded - "he can have her".

Mr Montgomery went upstairs to the toilet at around 2am and returned a few minutes later to find his son pinned to the floor by Mr Allwood. He said the Australian had his foot on the younger man's chest and both hands clamped around his neck "strangling him".

He told the jury: "I could see the fear in Kyle's eyes. I told him (Allwood) to get off and he ran out the back door. He came back about 10 minutes later. He was banging on the back door real loud. I opened it and he tried to come through the door like a raging bull, going for Kyle. Kyle got up, pushed me out of the way and pushed him out into the back garden."

A few minutes later his son also left the house, but returned shortly afterwards, pulled open a kitchen drawer and grabbed a bread knife.

He said: "Kyle was really furious at that point. I tried to take it (the knife) from him but he held it up above his head. He's a lot taller than me. He went out with it."

Mr Montgomery said he did not hear or see anything happening outside because he remained inside, sitting on the sofa.

Advocate depute Martin Macari asked him: "What's the next thing you remember happening?"

He replied: "Him (Kyle) coming back in again about five minutes later. There was blood on the knife."

He said his son, who seemed angry, was holding the weapon in his right hand with his arm out by his side and the blade pointing away from him. Asked what he did next, he said he took the knife from his son and put it back in the cutlery drawer.

He told the jury: "I said 'Have you done something bad?' He said 'Yup'."

Mr Macari said: "Did you ask him what it was?"

He replied: "No. I found it very traumatic."

Mr Montgomery said his son left the house without saying anything further. He fell asleep on the sofa and was wakened by police who handcuffed him.

Under cross-examination by defence counsel Derek Ogg, Mr Montgomery confirmed he had told police the Australian man had said something like "I'll kill him" as he was throttling the accused.

He added: "Kyle was really scared and wasn't fighting back."

Mr Montgomery said his son had been treated for depression after being bullied at school for having an English accent. He described the accused as a "sensitive" character, who was a "brilliant" chess player.

The case continues.

People who read this story also read