Murder accused ‘held dying girlfriend in his arms’

Keith Rizzo, 23, is accused of killing Neomi Smith at her flat in Brechin last summer.

A murder accused claimed he found his girlfriend lying injured in her flat and then heard “someone running”.

Keith Rizzo was quizzed by detectives hours after the death of Neomi Smith.

The 23-year-old told how he heard an “almighty bang” while in the shower at Ms Smith’s home in Brechin, Angus, last June 9.

He recalled then holding onto his dying partner as she lay stricken in the kitchen.

Rizzo also claimed Ms Smith had been getting “bother” from an ex-boyfriend.

The ex-farm worker denies murdering the 23-year-old at a trial at the High Court in Glasgow.

On Thursday, jurors heard Rizzo being interviewed by police.

He recalled how they had been at a local bar in Brechin before returning to Ms Smith’s flat.

The court again heard how Rizzo stated he went for a wash after getting back.

He then told detectives: “I was showering and [then] it was just an almighty bang.

“I just heard a door getting slammed and then she screamed my name.”

Rizzo said he initially thought Ms Smith had “done something stupid”.

He went on to claim his partner was “just lying there” in the blood-stained kitchen.

Rizzo added: “She managed to just have enough breath and she was like ‘I love…’

“That was it – she just gasped and there was nothing. I was holding her, checking her pulse, couldn’t get nothing.”

Rizzo stated he and Ms Smith would have “small petty arguments”.

But, he went on: “God, I really feel it now. We’ve built all this together and someone’s torn it away.”

Rizzo claimed he heard the sound of someone running as he found Ms Smith.

He earlier told police Ms Smith had spotted a person lurking nearby as they returned from the pub.

Rizzo further claimed in the interview Ms Smith had “a lot of bother” from a former partner, who “used to steal money out of her accounts”.

Rizzo denies the accusations.

The trial, before Lady Rae, continues.

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