Woman ‘froze’ as she ‘watched cousin shoot her fiancé dead’

Victoria Woods claims James Ferguson killed his childhood friend Paul Cairns at her home in Ayrshire.

Woman ‘froze’ as she ‘watched cousin shoot her fiancé dead’ iStock

A woman “froze” as she watched her cousin shoot her fiancé dead in their bed, a murder trial heard on Wednesday.

Victoria Woods, 46, claimed James Ferguson, 43, also known as Garland Greene, killed childhood friend Paul Cairns, 42, at her home in Ardrossan, Ayrshire, on May 24, 2020.

Ms Woods told recorded evidence at the High Court in Paisley that a masked Ferguson said: “You were f***ing warned” before firing the fatal shot.

Ferguson denies murdering Mr Cairns and attempting to defeat the ends of justice.

Prosecutors state Ferguson, of Kilwinning, entered the property while masked and shot Mr Cairns on the body.

Ms Woods, who gave evidence last October due to ill health, claimed that they had been together for one-and-a-half years before getting engaged.

She stated that Mr Cairns stayed with her due to her health problems.

The witness said that the pair went to bed to watch TV at around 12.30pm as the kitchen was being decorated by friend David Griffiths.

Ms Woods stated that a few of hours later Ferguson came into the room.

Prosecutor Alan Cameron asked what Ferguson did.

She replied: “He had a gun, I screamed at him and said ‘I’m ill, get out my f***ing room’.

“He said to Paul ‘You were f***Ing warned’…Paul said no…and he shot him.”

Mr Cameron asked what happened after Mr Cairns was shot.

The witness said: “I panicked, Paul must have flipped over, he was lying on his front.

“I pulled Paul over and saw that he had it in his chest…he shot him in the chest.”

Mr Cameron then asked what Ms Woods saw or heard during the incident.

She replied: “I heard a bang and I smelled smoke, I heard Paul go ‘argh’.

“I just froze when he came in, I just froze.”

Ms Woods stated Ferguson fired the shots near her grandchildren’s cots and was wearing blue overalls, a white face mask and a black beanie hat.

Mr Cameron questioned as to how Ms Woods knew it was Ferguson.

She stated: “I know him, he is my cousin, I know his eyes, his voice and his build.”

Ms Woods stated that Ferguson fled the scene and she told Mr Griffiths to dial 999.

She claimed that she tended to Mr Cairns by putting a towel on his chest before mercy crews arrived.

Ms Woods stated she told officers that Ferguson was the man responsible for the shooting.

Mr Cameron asked how Ferguson and Mr Cairns knew each other.

She said: “They had been friends since they were four-years-old.”

The prosecutor finally asked if Ms Woods knew what Ferguson was referring to before the shot was fired.

She replied: “No, no idea.”

Tony Graham, defending, asked Ms Woods if she would have heard Mr Cairns on the phone as they lived together and she said “Yes.”

Mr Graham questioned whether she was aware of any issue between Ferguson and Mr Cairns.

She replied: “No, they were fine in March.”

Mr Graham followed up: “From what you know, they couldn’t have seen each other since?”

Ms Woods stated: “I don’t think so.”

Mr Graham asked: “I will suggest once that it wasn’t James and you are mistaking this person for James as you can only see eyes and hear the voice?”

The witness replied: “I’m certain it was James.”

She then denied that she was mistaken as she was on medication at the time and the incident lasted a “short time”.

The trial continues on Thursday before judge Lord Arthurson.

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