Brothers ‘tried to stop rescue’

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A MAN who dived into a freezing pond at night in a vain bid to save a drowning teenager has relived the tragedy.

Lee Higham told a murder trial jury how Dylan Aaron had been “thrown” into Hindley’s Deep Pit by Drew McGrail.

Dylan, 17, swam to the middle but then shouted he was unable to kick his legs and for onlookers to dial 999. Mr Higham said: “Dylan was panicking and shouting for help.”

Liverpool Crown Court heard Drew McGrail, 27, and his 35-year-old brother David, had been shouting threats to Dylan such as “drown, you ****” and “if you get back out I’ll tie a brick to your legs.” “That is when he (Dylan) tried to get to the other side,” Mr Higham said.

David McGrail threw a folded up deck chair into the pond at Dylan but it missed and sank. The brothers then walked round to that side to stop Dylan getting out, Mr Higham claimed.

Among others at the pit, where Mr Higham had gone night fishing with the McGrails, were Michael and Julie Sharkey. Mr Sharkey, who has a pacemaker, was first to attempt a rescue and then Mr Higham tried.

He said: “I was on the far side by the time Mike came out. I remember him saying to Dave ‘it’s getting beyond a joke, get him out of the water.’ David wasn’t interested. He said, ‘don’t come to me with all this ********. I have a heart of stone.’

Women relatives of the victim wept as Mr Higham added: “I entered the water. There was a lot of screaming and panic and people were crying and shouting to ring an ambulance and Dylan was shouting for help.

“I never really got to him. I went in fully clothed, I had a number of layers on because I had gone to spend the night fishing.

“When I got to the point where Dylan had been he had gone under and was out of sight. I went under the water. I couldn’t see anything, it was pitch dark. I tried feeling with my feet and if I had felt anything I would have done down to try to bring him back up,”

The McGrails, both of Lancaster Road, Hindley, deny murder.