Brother denies murder

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THE second of two brothers accused of murdering a teenaged boy by causing him to drown in a fishing pond has denied the allegations.

Drew McGrail told a jury at Liverpool Crown Court that he had not pushed 17-year-old Dylan Aaron into Deep Pit at Hindley and denied that he had made death threats while he was in the freezing water or prevented him getting out.

It has been claimed by others, including his older brother, David McGrail, that he made aggressive threats. But questioned by his barrister, Peter Birkett, QC, 27-year-old Drew denied this. He claimed he and others told Dylan to get out. “I never wished for him to drown,” he said.

Drew and David McGrail, 35, both of Lancaster Road, Hindley, deny murdering Dylan in the early hours of May 30 last year.

David McGrail also denies assaulting Dylan’s friend Daniel Bagnall by hitting him on the head with a torch when he tried to rescue the panicking victim.

Drew said he joined his brother at the pond, where he was night fishing, in the early hours of the morning along with his girlfriend and another couple.

He saw someone, who turned out to be Dylan, arrive waving a stick in his right hand.

He said: “He was walking at a fast pace with an angry voice shouting ‘where’s David?’ As he got nearer I saw the stick in the air. I tried to disarm him, I ran at him and rugby tackled him.

“I brought him to the ground. He got up and I felt three blows to my face and I had a nose bleed.

“I just looked and he was stood waist deep in the water. I shouted ‘get out before you drown.’ He turned round and just swam off.”

“Did you push him in the water?” asked Mr Birkett. “No,” he replied. “Did you throw him into the water,”” he was asked. “No,” he replied. “Do you know what precisely caused him to go into the water?” asked Mr Birkett. “No, I don’t know,” said Drew.

He went on to deny making death threats and said his brother was wrong saying that he had. “But I accept things were said in the heat of the moment. He was arguing with me, I was arguing back.”

Cross-examined by Paul Reid, QC, prosecuting, he agreed that he had been angry and said that was because he had been attacked by Dylan. The jury has heard that the victim and two friends went to the pond after his family’s car was damaged and he believed David McGrail was to blame.

Mr Reid suggested that Drew had smashed the window with a coping stone in a revenge attack for what he believed the boy and his father had done to his father’s home but Drew denied this.