Fife murder trial: woman found dad-of-two dying in street


A man was found dying in a Kirkcaldy street after being stabbed, the High Court in Dunfermline has heard.

A desperate 999 call from a woman, who found the 42-year-old father-of-two Darren Adie (pictured above) lying in the road, was played in court.

Gordon Coventry (52) 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.

Frances McArthur entered the witness box with the aid of a walking frame and told the jury of the shocking scene she came across in the street that night.

Mrs McArthur (62), of Haig Avenue, Kirkcaldy, had been around to check the home of her son who was in hospital at the time.

As she walked home she made the grim discovery in Tweed Avenue. “I saw a man lying half on the pavement and half on the road,” she recalled.

“To be honest I thought he was drunk. I asked him if he was alright. His eyes were open but I thought there was something wrong and phoned an ambulance. That was when I saw the blood.”

Advocate depute Tim Niven-Smith asked, “Did you recognise the person?”

“No, not at the time,” replied Mrs McArthur.

The witness said she could see there was a small gash in the man’s tee-shirt and blood coming from his left hand side.

Mrs McArthur became upset as she described the man’s final moments. “He took an almighty coughing fit and sat up. Then he fell back down. He took three breaths and after that I didn’t hear anything else.”

Mrs McArthur’s emergency call to the ambulance service on her mobile phone was played in court.

She told the operator, “I’ve just found a man lying at the side of the road. It looks like he’s been stabbed or something.”

At one point, Mrs McArthur could be heard trying to get the man to speak, saying, “Can you heard me?”

She followed an instruction from the ambulance call handler to lift the man’s tee-shirt to check for an injury.

Mrs McArthur is heard saying, “Come on ambulance. There’s so long between his breaths, it’s frightening.”

As the ambulance arrives the woman said, “Thank goodness because I’m getting really feart.”

Paramedic Nigel Duncan (55) was in the ambulance and told the court that the initial call was made at 6.50pm.

“When we were in the ambulance we could see he was lying still, motionless and was very pale. When we got out of the ambulance we quickly ascertained that the patient was lifeless.”

There was no pulse, no breathing but Mr Duncan tried to resuscitate the man on the journey to Victoria Hospital which proved to be unsuccessful.

Coventry faces other charges on the indictment.

It is alleged that on various occasions between 1st January and 13th June last year he was concerned in the supply of cannabis and cannabis resin.

He is accused of assaulting Darren Adie on 7th May at Overton Mains by throwing stones at him. He is also alleged to have been in possession with a bladed item, namely scissors on the same day and location.

The trial before Lord Uist continues.

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