Murder accused claims two men attacked his girlfriend

Keith Rizzo, 23, stated to his mum Neomi Smith was set upon while the couple were in her flat in Brechin, Angus.

A murder accused claimed two men attacked his lover and told him: “This is not the first time we have done this.”

Keith Rizzo, 23, stated to his mum Neomi Smith was set upon while the couple were in her flat in Brechin, Angus.

He said the 23 year-old was stabbed by the duo before one “wiped” a knife on Rizzo and made him put his hand on the blood splattered floor.

The ex-farm worker is on trial at the High Court in Glasgow where he denies murdering Miss Smith last June 9.

His mum Frances Rizzo gave evidence. Jurors heard how she was on holiday in Spain when her son was charged.

She later went to visit him in Perth Prison in late June last year. They had a conversation about what he said happened that night in Ms Smith’s flat.

Rizzo said two men turned on Ms Smith and warned him at one point: “If you make a sound or shout for help, I will slit your throat.”

Rizzo claimed he pleaded with them to take money from his bank account instead.

Miss Rizzo told prosecutor Duncan McPhie: “Keith said the man who had been stabbing Neomi swapped places with the man who had been holding him.

“The second man knelt down and was then randomly stabbing her with the knife.

“I asked ‘how many times?’, but Keith said he did not know, just that he kept doing it and doing it.”

Rizzo said his stricken lover was “groaning and making noises”.

He claimed he was then ordered to grab the knife after being told: “Take it or you are going to end up the same way.”

Jurors heard one of the men wiped the weapon on Rizzo’s jeans then demanded to put his hand in the blood at the flat.

Rizzo insisted he was then “hauled up by the scruff of the neck” and “placed” in the shower.

Mr McPhie asked the mum: “After the man turned it on, what happened then?”

Ms Rizzo said: “Keith stated he said to them: ‘You are not going to get away with this’.

“The man said to Keith: ‘This is not the first time we have done this’.

“He said he was in the shower for ten minutes – when he came out, the men had gone.”

The court heard Rizzo found Ms Smith, checked for a pulse before going to a neighbour for help.

Rizzo had also told his mum that weeks before the alleged murder he and Ms Smith had been out for a walk in Brechin.

He said two men in a black Vauxhall Astra had stopped near them.

Rizzo claimed his girlfriend stated to him: “Stay there. I need to go and talk with them.”

He said Ms Smith went on to hand over a “wad of cash” to one of the men.

His mum told jurors: “Keith said the other man got out as he had approached.

“He said to Keith: ‘Just stay there, mate or I will hurt you…I will really f****** hurt you’.”

Rizzo denies the accusations. The trial, before Lady Rae, continues.