Man accused of murdering woman by pushing her down stairs amid bike row

Kevin Campbell is alleged to have pushed Mairi Doherty down a flight of stairs in the close of his flat in Dunoon.

Man accused of murdering Mairi Doherty by pushing her down flight of stairs amid row over bike STV News

A man allegedly murdered a woman by pushing her down a flight of steps amid a row over a bike.

Kevin Campbell, 45, allegedly assaulted Mairi Doherty in the close of his flat Dunoon, Argyll and Bute, on July 23, 2022.

Co-accused Bernadette Cairns, 42, was earlier claimed to have fought with Ms Doherty after having an argument when she spotted her with a bike outside her home.

Campbell was stated to have split up the pair and walked Ms Doherty down a set of concrete stairs.

A witness told a jury Campbell then pushed her to below the shoulder blades which caused her to fall.

Campbell is on trial at the High Court in Glasgow accused of murdering Ms Doherty.

Cairns meantime faces a charge of assaulting Ms Doherty to her injury.

The court heard from a man who visited Cairns at the flat in the early hours of the morning.

He stated that he passed Ms Doherty who was “struggling” to carry a bike on the landing outside Cairns’ home.

The man claimed that he did not know who the bike belonged to but has seen it outside Cairns and Campbell’s home

The witness stated that he then chapped Cairns’ door and she answered it.

He said: “She shouted at Mairi to bring the bike back up. 

“Mairi came back upstairs and apologised to Bernadette and then they started fighting.”

Prosecutor Alan Mackay asked the man what Cairns did and he replied: “They started fighting each other, kicking each other, pulling each other’s hair.”

The witness added that Cairns also grabbed Ms Doherty by the arms.

He claimed that Ms Doherty initially went back downstairs before returning when the fight continued.

He stated that Campbell appeared and split it up by grabbing Ms Doherty on the arm and walked her down the stairs of the close.

The man said that Campbell returned and asked him to call an ambulance as Ms Doherty “fell.”

Mr Mackay asked the man if he saw Ms Doherty fall and he replied: “No.”

Jurors were told that in three of four police statements, the man claimed he did not see how Ms Doherty fell.

However, the witness spoke to police again and he told officers that he had “something to get off my chest” which made him “ill.”

Mr Mackay asked: “What did you tell them?”

The witness replied: “That he shoved her.”

In the statement partly read to the court, the witness claimed Campbell gave Ms Doherty “a full force push on the back just below the shoulder blades.”

The man stated to the advocate depute that he lied about it being a full force push and that it was done with one hand in a “go away” motion.

The statement went on: “Mairi fell down the stairs and I didn’t see if she hit any stairs.

“I heard a bang like a loud thud, this must have been when she hit the floor.”

The man told officers that Campbell went back to his flat and told Cairns to call an ambulance as Ms Doherty “fell.”

Cairns was stated to have replied to Campbell by shouting: “Just f***ing leave her.”

The man told the jury that he tended to Ms Doherty who was lying with legs still on the stairs.

He claimed that she was a “mess” and she made a groaning noise while he was on the phone to the emergency services.

Gordon Jackson KC, defending Campbell, asked the man: “All you saw on your evidence, all you saw happen was what you would describe as a tap on the shoulder like someone saying ‘on your way’?”

He replied: “Yes.”

The trial continues on Thursday before Judge Lord Arthurson.

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