The man cleared of causing the death of his workmate has spoken of his “deep regret” at the row that led to the tragedy.
Steven Wisdom twice stood trial for the culpable homicide of Colin Burnett, who died on Christmas Day 2011.
The pair argued on a work night out two days earlier, clashing outside Colin’s home in Woodside Court, Falkirk.
The dad-of-two hit his head on the pavement and, although he refused to go to hospital with paramedics, was admitted to Forth Valley Royal the following day.
Steven (44) was originally charged with murder, but the charge was later reduced.
However, the first trial at Glasgow High Court at the end of January this year was abandoned and the retrial began on April 29. Five days later, Steven sat in the dock as the jury delivered its not guilty verdict.
Speaking to The Falkirk Herald this week, he said: “They took half an hour to reach their decision and that half hour seemed longer than the whole trial.
“I know that Colin has lost his life through this incident but I’ve lost my wife, my job, my health has suffered and I’ve also lost a guy who I considered a good friend.
“It goes without saying that I’d give anything to turn back the clock.”
The pair worked together at James Callander’s Bainsford sawmill, Steven as a forklift driver and Colin as a machine man. Their Christmas outing saw them visit town centre pubs, ending up in The Carron Works.
Steven said: “It was a stupid row and I left and went to Firkins. Later, I jumped in a taxi to go home, but for some reason asked to do a detour to Colin’s house. The following day I kept texting him to ask if we were friends again. But on Christmas morning I came into the house after walking the dog and there were two police officers. I spent three nights in the cells then one in Barlinnie on remand and never want to go through that again.”
Visibly shaking, Steven added that he and his wife had split but he still lived in Union Road, Grangemouth to be near his 14-year-old son.
“I know that I’m drinking too much and admit that I’ve contemplated suicide, but nothing will bring back Colin.”