A PROSECUTOR today (Friday, May 19) in his closing speech urged the jury to convict Steven Kirkwood of the murder of Mr Scotland body building champion Michael “Musk” O'Hanlon.
Kirkwood, 44, denies murdering 45-year-old Michael by repeatedly stabbing him at HK Autotek in Stevenston on July 25 last year.
Prosecutor Richard Goddard told the jurors: “This is a completely compelling case. The right thing to do is to convict Steven Kirkwood of the murder of Michael O'Hanlon.”
The jury has heard that abusive texts and Facebook messages were being sent by Kirkwood to his ex-partner Eileen Kirkwood, who was due to marry Michael on August 15, last year.
Eileen, who has now changed her name to O'Hanlon, was also sending vile messages about Kirwood's partner Martine Greenan calling her “ugly and a brain damaged thing.”
A meeting was set up in the garage at noon on July 25 last year to talk over the situation.
There was a struggle, Michael was stabbed four times and died from massive blood loss. Kirkwood admits stabbing him, but claims he was acting in self-defence. He said at the time he lashed out with the knife he found on the floor and he was pinned down by Michael and his friend Forbes Cowan.
Mr Goddard told the jurors: “'I've been fighting that p***k Musky. It all kicked off. I set about him. I stabbed that p***k Musky. I think I killed him.'
“These were the words from the mouth of Steven Kirkwood only 45 minutes after the incident in the garage.
“We have evidence of what eye-witnesses saw, evidence of what Steven Kirkwood admitted to others what he had done in the aftermath of the incident.”
Mr Goddard also said that texts sent by Kirkwood that morning showed his state of mind.
He told Michael to meet him at the garage “If he wanted to be Johnny Big Baws.'
Kirkwood also posted on his Facebook account that his ex-partner Eileen had called him a nutcase for years and added: “I'm now going to show them nutcase.”
Mr Goddard told the jury: “He started the day posting those words and ended it by stabbing Michael O' Hanlon to death.”
The prosecutor added: “There is no evidence the knife was ever in anyone else's hands.”
Defence QC Derek Ogg in his closing speech said that that day Kirkwood found himself facing two big, powerful men – Michael who was 6ft and 17 stone and the reigning Mr Scotland body building champion and 6ft 4in Forbes Cowan, who was a runner-up in the World's Strongest Man competition.
Mr Ogg said: “These are two big, powerful, strong men. You could not get bigger and stronger men in Ayrshire than these two.
“He used what force he thought at the time was necessary to stop these two big powerful men each of whom had expressed aggression towards him.
“My client has severe arthritis. These men were not just looking for violence, but serious violence.
“Mr Kirkwood could only escape by going through these two men.
“There was no conversation about resolving any issue. They intended to do violence and wicked violence to my client.
“These are men of such height and strength that if these two came through a door aggressively anyone would be thinking: 'This is it. I'm in for it.'”
The QC added: “If you had an elephant lying there and you saw these two men coming you would go for it.”
He accused Crown witnesses of being selective with their evidence.
The trial before judge Lady Rae continues.