Man charged with murdering Mairi Doherty by pushing her down stairs during argument over bike

A man allegedly murdered a woman by pushing her down the stairs during an argument over a bicycle.

Kevin Campbell, 45, allegedly attacked Mairi Doherty outside her flat in Dunoon, Argyll and Bute, on July 23, 2022.

Co-accused Bernadette Cairns, 42, had earlier argued with Ms Doherty after spotting her with a bicycle outside her home.

According to testimony, Campbell separated the couple and carried Ms Doherty down a set of concrete steps.

A witness told the jury that Campbell pushed her below the shoulder blades, causing her to fall.

Campbell is charged with Ms Doherty’s murder and is on trial at the High Court in Glasgow.

Cairns was charged with assaulting Ms Doherty, causing her to suffer actual bodily harm.

The court heard a man visited Cairns’ apartment in the early hours of the morning.

He testified that he passed Ms Doherty who was “having difficulty” carrying her bicycle up the landing in front of Cairns’ house.

The man claimed he didn’t know who owned the bike, but he had seen it in front of Cairns and Campbell’s house.

The witness said he then knocked on Cairns’ door and she opened it.

He said: “She shouted at Mairi to pick up the bike.

“Mairi went back upstairs and apologised to Bernadette, and they started arguing.”

Prosecutor Alan Mackay asked the man what Cairns had done and he replied: “They started punching each other, kicking each other and pulling each other’s hair.”

The witness added that Cairns also grabbed Ms Doherty by the arms.

He claimed Ms Doherty initially went downstairs and then returned as the fight continued.

He testified that Campbell arrived and separated the group, grabbing Ms Doherty by the arm and leading her down the stairs.

The man said Campbell returned and asked him to call an ambulance because Ms Doherty had “fallen”.

Mr Mackay asked the man if he saw Ms Doherty fall and he replied: “No.”

The jury heard that in three of the police officer’s four statements the man claimed he did not see how Ms Doherty fell.

However, the witness contacted police again and told officers he “had something to get off his chest” which made him feel “sick”.

Mr. Mackay asked: “What did you tell them?”

The witness replied: “That he pushed her.”

In a statement partly read to the court, the witness claimed Campbell “pushed Ms Doherty as hard as he could in the back, just below the shoulder blades”.

The man testified before his attorney that he lied when he said the push was made with full force and that it was done with one hand, in a “go away” gesture.

The statement continued: “Mairi fell down the stairs and I did not see her hit any stairs.

“I heard a bang, like a loud thud. That must have happened when she hit the floor.”

The man told police Campbell returned to his flat and told Cairns to call an ambulance because Ms Doherty had “fallen down”.

According to testimony, Cairns responded to Campbell by shouting, “Just f***ing leave her alone.”

The man told the jury he was caring for Ms Doherty, who was lying on the stairs with her feet down.

He claimed she was a “shambles” and was making whimpering sounds when he called the emergency services.

Gordon Jackson KC, defending Campbell, asked the man: “All you saw on your evidence, all you saw was what you would call a tap on the shoulder, like someone saying ‘go away’?”

He replied, “Yes.”

The trial will continue on Thursday before Judge Lord Arthurson.

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