AN ALLEGED victim of double murder bid accused Greenock man Leonard Cole yesterday sensationally refused to give evidence at his High Court trial.

Shaun Charles — who sustained horrific injuries to his neck in a claimed machete attack — launched into a foul-mouthed outburst before he'd even reached the witness box.

Amid extraordinary scenes, judge Jonathan Watson cut the link to a jury who had been following proceedings remotely under Covid restrictions from a cinema at Braehead.

Charles, 23, had stated in front of the panel of eight men and seven women: "I'm not giving any evidence.

"I'm no' saying or doing anything else.

"I'm here, I showed up."

Asked by judge Watson to raise his hand to take the oath, Charles replied: "Naw."

Referring to the alleged attempted murder on Greenock's Union Street on June 9 2018, he said: "We were young boys — we're men now."

As police and a court officer blocked an attempt by Charles to leave the witness box, he said: "Stop trying to force me into a box."

He then swore as he said in a raised voice: "Do me with contempt [of court] - do what yous want."

His outburst caused a long delay in proceedings at the High Court in Paisley.

Earlier, a taxi driver who told how he'd taken four 'hoodlums' on a fare from Banff Road in Larkfield to Union Street on the day of the alleged attack.

The court heard how he'd told police the following day that he 'didn't like the look of the guys', adding: "I had a bad feeling about them."

His statement to police continued: "They started swearing, acting aggressively, not towards me but they were a bit dodgy.

"They were leaning out of the car windows during the journey and shouting out to passers by.

"I just wanted to get them to Union Street, get their fare and get them out of my taxi."

Accused Cole has lodged a special defence of self defence in relation Charles, claiming that he was protecting himself, his father and his girlfriend.

He says that Charles and three other men threatened to break down the door of his father's home on Union Street and attack him with a knife.

Cole is accused of repeatedly striking Charles on the neck and body with a machete or similar instrument, all to his severe injury, permanent disfigurement and permanent impairment to the danger of his life and attempting to murder him.

He is further charged with attempting to murder 18-year-old Reece Warnock with a knife on Princes Street, Port Glasgow, on August 27 2019.

Cole claims that the attack on Mr Warnock, who is now deceased, was carried out by man called Andrew Sutherland.

The trial continues.