Man accused of woman's pier murder said push was 'a bit of fun'

Jacob Foster allegedly killed Charmaine O'Donnell by pushing her into the water at Helensburgh Pier.

Man accused of murdering Charmaine O’Donnell by ‘pushing’ her off Helensburgh pier said it was ‘a bit of fun’ Facebook

A man accused of murdering a stranger who drowned allegedly stated he “pushed” her from a pier adding: “It was just a bit of fun”.

Jacob Foster, 29, is said to have made a number of comments to a police officer after Charmaine O’Donnell ended up in the sea on April 23, 2021.

Jurors also heard on Thursday from a number of teenagers who tried to help the 25-year-old following the incident at Helensburgh Pier in Argyll and Bute.

Foster is on trial at the High Court in Glasgow. He denies murder and has lodged a special defence of diminished responsibility.

The trial earlier heard how Miss O’Donnell had gone on a day trip to Helensburgh with friend Caitlin McTaggart.

She later ended up in the water and died due to severe neck injuries and drowning.

Prosecutors claim Foster had picked up Miss O’Donnell, carried her to a barrier before pushing the woman.

It is said this caused her to strike the “pier structure” or another rough surface and the water below.

The indictment alleges this lead Miss O’Donnell to “ingest” water and that she was left so severely injured, she never survived.

PC Gary Davidson told on Thursday how he was called to the pier following reports of a woman in the sea.

He had been given orders to approach Foster, who was still at the scene.

The officer said Foster was “quite agitated and talking a lot”.

Prosecutor Alex Prentice asked the witness if Foster stated anything to him.

PC Davidson replied: “That it was an accident. He said: ‘I just pushed her. It was just a bit of fun’.

“He said that he had a few cans that day.

“I said to him the best thing was to stay calm and not say anything, but he said these things again and again.”

After then being cautioned, Foster allegedly stated: “I did not know that she could not swim.”

Jurors were earlier shown pre-recorded testimony from a number of witnesses who were at the pier that day.

The friends had been swimming there due to the good weather.

One 17-year-old recalled being on the pier when he heard a “splash” before seeing a woman in the water.

He said: “I chose to go down the ladder and help her. I stood on a beam, I took one arm and my friend took another.

“My friend was in the water trying to hold her head up.”

The teenager added they were unable to get Miss O’Donnell out before emergency services arrived.

His 16-year-old friend also heard the same splash and initially thought it was one of their group jumping into the sea.

He then instead spotted it was Miss O’Donnell while also noticing “a bit of blood” and her shoe floating in the water.

The youngster went to help her and believed she was in the sea for around 30 to 40 minutes in total.

He also recalled an “overweight and bald” man stating: “I shoved her in. I thought she could swim.”

Another of the group recalled seeing a woman “struggling” in the water.

The 17-year-old girl said she was the one who raised the alarm by calling for ambulance and also went “quite a trek” through Helensburgh to get a defibrillator heart machine to help Miss O’Donnell.

Mr Prentice asked: “Did someone throw a lifebuoy or ring into the water?”

The girl: “Yes, my friend.”

The trial, before judge Lord Fairley, continues.

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