Fife murder trial: stabbing death was “an accident” says accused

 

The street stabbing which killed dad-of-two Darren Adie in Kirkcaldy was “an accident”, the man accused of his murder claimed today.

Self-confessed drug dealer Gordon Coventry, from Kirkcaldy, described coming across a drunk Mr Adie near his home on a Saturday evening last May.

“He was being loud and aggressive. He shouted, ‘What are you looking at?’ I was the only person in the vicinity,” 52-year-old Coventry said at his trial at the High Court in Dunfermline today.

“He shouted at me on a couple of occasions. I didn’t answer. He was on the same side of the street as me.

“He pulled a knife out of his right hand pocket. It was a lock knife and he had it in his right hand.

“I had a confrontation with him. I got into a struggle with him. I tried to grab his right hand with both my hands. I wasn’t wanting assaulted.”

“Was the knife open or closed?” asked defence solicitor Gordon Martin.

“Open,” answered Coventry, of Overton Mains. He went on, “I was involved in a struggle and the knife entered his ribs in the struggle.”

Coventry said he then took the knife and left. He said Mr Adie (42) also walked away and had “his hands up in the air shouting.”

Coventry said he went home and took off his clothing, which he later discarded in woodlands.

He admitted he also discarded one of his mobile phones that same night, others in the following days and had later thrown the knife into the sea at West Wemyss.

Judge Lord Uist asked Coventry, “Just to make it clear, what you are saying is what happened was an accident?”

“Yes,” said Coventry.

A previous witness David Taylor had said in his evidence that Coventry had told him that he was going to “do” Darren Adie days before he died and had called him “a beast”.

Coventry told the court this had been a fabrication by Mr Taylor and he had never said that.

The court was shown CCTV video of Mr Adie, described as a “colourful local character”, staggering about the street outside a local shop around 20 minutes before he was stabbed.

Advocate depute Tim Niven-Smith asked Coventry, “We’ve seen the CCTV and Mr Adie can barely stand up straight can he?

“He’s staggering, yes,” said Coventry.

“It would be quite easy to get away from a man as drunk as that, wouldn’t it?”

“I don’t know,” said Coventry.

Mr Niven-Smith asked Coventry why he had discarded the knife, his clothes and his phones if it all had been accident.

“I was in a panic. Nobody would have believed me,” said Coventry.

He began his evidence by admitting he was a drug dealer who sold cannabis and Valium. He used other people to rent out properties and set up cannabis farms.

Following the death of Mr Adie, Coventry admitted telling his former partner he had £44,000 he wanted her to have. When she asked if he had murdered Darren Adie he told her there would be no DNA evidence, he said.

Gordon Coventry denies that on 28th May last year at Spey Avenue, near its junction with Napier Street, he assaulted Darren Adie by repeatedly striking him on the body with a knife or similar instrument, murdered him and did this having previously evinced malice and ill-will towards him.

The trial continues.

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