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Last Updated:  Friday, 4 April, 2003, 14:37 GMT 15:37 UK
Murder accused 'acted together'
Daniel Hutcheson was a former soldier
Daniel Hutcheson's body was dismembered
The charges against the two men accused of the murder of a former soldier are "truly horrific", a prosecution lawyer has told a court.

Advocate-depute Norman Ritchie used his closing speech to tell the jury that Christopher Hutcheson, 23, and Andrew Ferguson, 19, both confessed to the killing before showing the victim's body to a friend.

Mr Ritchie said this joint admission proved that they were "acting together".

Both men are on trial in the High Court in Glasgow accused of murdering Daniel Hutcheson, a cousin of Christopher, at a flat in Woodville Street, Glasgow, on November 30, 2001.

Body in the bath

Mr Ritchie told the jury that Hutcheson strangled Daniel with a rope as Ferguson looked on.

But afterwards Ferguson helped Hutcheson put the body into a bath to "make sure he was dead".

Both men allegedly admitted to their friend Derek Scanlon the following day that they had killed Daniel before showing him the body.

Describing the exchange, Mr Ritchie said: "Scanlon was told by Christopher Hutcheson 'we murdered Daniel'.

The High Court in Glasgow

"Ferguson was there and he heard what Hutcheson said.

"Scanlon's reaction was that he did not believe him (Hutcheson).

"But Ferguson then said 'Aye, we did'.

"This is a crucial part of the Crown case."

Mr Ritchie said Scanlon was then shown the body in the bath before it was dismembered.

The advocate-depute said Ferguson had "tailored his evidence to suit his own ends".

He added: "Andrew Ferguson sat in an armchair and watched a man on his knees in front of him being strangled."

Mr Ritchie told the jury it was not a crime to do nothing but he said Ferguson could not be relied upon to provide a truthful account of what had happened.

He also said that the events after Daniel was strangled were significant.

Mr Ritchie told the court: "He was put in the bath by both of them to make sure that he was dead.

From the joint confession to Derek Scanlon and the display of the body, they were acting together in this
Norman Ritchie, prosecuting
"From the joint confession to Derek Scanlon and the display of the body, they were acting together in this."

Mr Ritchie described the charges in the case as "truly horrific".

Hutcheson, a prisoner in Glenochil jail near Alloa, is also accused of murdering homeless John Mitchell by pushing him off a bridge near Strathaven, Lanarkshire, in September 2001.

He denies both murder charges as well as charges of assault, supplying drugs, attempted murder, extortion and breach of the peace.

Hutcheson and Ferguson also deny attempting to defeat the ends of justice by cutting up Daniel Hutcheson's body, burning his head and limbs and scattering the remains around the Glasgow area.

Ferguson, a prisoner in Barlinnie jail, Glasgow, denies further charges of supplying drugs, attempted murder, assault and breach of the peace.

He has lodged a special defence claiming he was acting under coercion.

The case continues.


SEE ALSO:
Murder accused denies being 'evil'
03 Apr 03  |  Scotland
Man freed in torso case
25 Mar 03  |  Scotland
Murder accused 'burnt limbs'
24 Mar 03  |  Scotland
Torso murder accused 'shot man'
12 Mar 03  |  Scotland


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