Man accused over death of former council leader

A man has apperared in court in connection with the death of a former East Dunbartonshire Council leader.

Darren Murphy (25) is accused of punching John Morrison on the head in Dunlop Street, Glasgow, on December 22, causing him to fall and hit his head.

His lawyer lodged a not guilty plea with a special defence of self-defence at the High Court in Glasgow on Thursday.

Mr Morrison (50), from Milngavie, died after he was found in Argyle Street at 12.20am.

Murphy was represented by advocate Dale Hughes who also lodged not guilty pleas to the other charges he faces.

They include that Murphy attempted to defeat the ends of justice.

The Crown alleges that he instructed a man not to tell police that he [Mr Murphy] had punched Mr Morrison.

It is alleged that he repeatedly instructed another man to delete text messages or not to tell anyone what happened in relation to the alleged attack.

It is also alleged that Mr Murphy told a third man to delete text messages from his mobile phone.

The accused is due to stand trial in December.

Mr Morrison, a former Liberal Democrat councillor, was the leader of East Dunbartonshire Council from 2003 until 2007.