A man who fatally stabbed a former friend in the leg during a violent struggle walked free from court yesterday (Wednesday) after being cleared of murdering him.
Gas engineer Ryan McMillan, 32, wept as a jury at the High Court in Glasgow accepted that he had acted in self-defence and unanimously found him not guilty of murdering 39-year-old Stephen Scroggie.
Judge Bill Dunlop QC told Mr McMillan: “The jury has acquitted you. This was a verdict with which I entirely agree. You are free to go.”
Mr Scroggie came to Mr McMillan’s home at 53 Cairngorm Gardens, Cumbernauld, around midnight on March 22, last year, armed with a knife and claimed that he had been bad-mouthing him.
The court heard that both men had been friends, but Mr McMillan began to distance himself from his friend whom he described as “going off the rails.
Mr Scroggie produced the knife and lunged at Mr McMillan and both men struggled. Mr Scroggie ended up dead in a pool of blood in the kitchen and Mr McMillan suffered wounds to his hands.
Mr McMillan then ran to his mother’s house nearby and the police and an ambulance were called.
As he was treated in hospital he told police he was attacked by Mr Scroggie, who was wearing gloves, but managed to fend him off and then stab him.
He said: “I know I’ve nothing to feel guilty about. I just don’t believe what happened.”
Defence QC Donald Findlay QC said: “ Mr McMillan had been told Mr Scroggie was going off the rails and he was trying to stay clear of him as his life was going well and he had a good job.”
Mr McMillan’s mother Carolyn Donohoe, 57, told of how her son came to her door late at night with blood pouring from wounds to his hands.
She added: “He said ‘Stephen Scoggie came to my house and tried to kill me. I might have killed him.’”
She said that son, who had known Mr Scroggie for 10 years, was ‘very shocked and shaking.’
Ms Donohoe, a golf administrator, told the court she put bandages and then towels round her son’s hands to stem the blood.
She then ran up to his house and in the kitchen saw Mr Scroggie lying face down on the floor., before returning to tell her son she had to phone the emergency services. Ms Donohoe added: Ryan said: “I know you need to get the police and
> ambulance, mum, he was on top of me trying to kill me, what else could I do.”