Murder accused visited funfair while body of retired Fettes College teacher was hidden under bed, court told

A man accused of murdering a retired Fettes College teacher suggested a trip to a funfair while the pensioner's body was hidden under a bed, a court has heard.

Paul Black, 65, is accused of killing Peter Coshan, 75, in August 2022 as part of a catfishing plot with his flatmate to steal thousands of pounds.

Black is on trial at the High Court in Edinburgh and denies two charges - murder and defeating the ends of justice - after 16 additional charges were dropped by the prosecution.

Paul McNaughton, 29, pleaded guilty last year to murdering Mr Coshan and perverting the course of justice.

McNaughton previously gave evidence blaming Black for suffocating Mr Coshan, claiming his own role was luring his former lover Mr Coshan to a flat in Leith, Edinburgh, after creating a fake profile on dating app Gaydar, before the pair went on a spending spree with the victim's cash.

Giving evidence on Thursday, Black said he met McNaughton in 2014 when they worked in a gay bar and admitted he was "infatuated" but also "frightened" of the younger man, telling the court: "I treated him like a son."

Black, a father-of-one, told the court he found out McNaughton was expecting a "meet-up" 20 minutes before Mr Coshan arrived and believed the elderly man was there to have sex via a hook-up app.

McNaughton and Mr Coshan were said to have gone into a bedroom, with Black saying he believed the pensioner had later left.

However, Black said he went on to find Mr Coshan lying "face down" in the bedroom, and claimed he checked his pulse.

Black said: "I heard the front door shut and thought he was away. He was lying on top of the bed face down, in the bedroom.

"I knew something had happened as Paul was sitting beside the bed, agitated. Shaking with fear. He says 'I have to get out of here and go up to his house and you have to go with me'. He says 'I've killed him'."

Black claimed he wanted to call emergency services but McNaughton told him not to and the pair went for a walk around Edinburgh, including going to Mr Coshan's house, and also McDonald's to eat chips.

Mr Coshan's body was hidden under the bed while the pair went on a trip to a funfair in Burntisland, Fife, which Black admitted he suggested because it was a "nice day".

Defending, Tony Lenehan said: "You've got a dead body in your flat."

Black replied: "I just wanted to get away for a while."

He insisted he did not benefit financially although he changed euros worth £5,000 the next day, and said he was "scared" and "traumatised".

Black admitted driving a Vauxhall Vectra to Northumberland on two occasions to dispose of Mr Coshan's body, and also lying to police who visited the flat as part of the investigation into the disappearance on two occasions.

He said: "Paul said we had to cover everything up. I didn't give it any thought at the time and I realise that now."

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During cross-examination, Black denied it was his crime as well as McNaughton's.

Prosecutor John Keenan KC said: "You knew he was being lured with a fake Gaydar profile to your house."

Black said that he "didn't know", to which Mr Keenan said: "And then you murdered him."

Black replied: "I didn't murder anybody."

The trial continues in front of Lord Scott.