Jury urged to reject murder accused’s ‘far fetched’ claims

Keith Rizzo is on trial for the alleged murder of Neomi Smith at her flat in Brechin last June.

Jurors have been urged to reject the “far fetched” claims of a man charged with murdering his lover.

Prosecutor Duncan McPhie instead asked for Keith Rizzo to be convicted of killing Neomi Smith at her flat in Brechin, Angus last June.

Ms Smith had 32 stab wounds and the same amount of blunt-force injuries after being found lying in her kitchen.

Rizzo – who denies murder – told his mum two men had stormed the flat and attacked the 23-year-old insisting she owed them money.

The duo also allegedly stated to him: “This is not the first time we have done this.”

Mr McPhie commented on Rizzo’s claims during a 50-minute closing speech to jurors at the High Court in Glasgow today.

The prosecutor said: “He made up stories covering up what he did. A far fetched tale of two men stabbing Neomi Smith.”

Mr McPhie added Rizzo, also 23, had given “varying, inconsistent and incredible accounts” of what allegedly occurred.

This included another claim that Ms Smith had been arguing with “someone” while he was in the shower. The advocate depute branded them “self serving explanations”.

Addressing what Rizzo told his mum, Mr McPhie said: “These two men came into the flat with murder in mind, but appeared not to have brought knives and instead had to use kitchen knives.

“The mystery men in black made good their escape forever.” Mr McPhie added if Rizzo was correct two “experienced murderers” then “ran the risk” of insisting he take hold of a knife before they fled.

He also stated the ex-farm worker had not given this account to police during four hours of questioning.

The two week trial has heard how Rizzo was apparently unhappy at Ms Smith dancing with another man in a pub prior to the alleged murder.

It is claimed he then turned up at his girlfriend’s home “in anger or rage”.

Jurors were told the prosecution “theory” is the couple argued before a fight broke out leading to Ms Smith’s death at the flat.

Mr McPhie said Rizzo “did not care if Ms Smith lived or died”.

He told the jury: “You could well be satisfied that he intended to kill her, but that is a matter for you.”

The trial, before Lady Rae, continues.

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