Glasgow & West Scotland

Killer ex-teacher Madge Gillespie jailed for motorway chaos

A woman who was jailed for killing her husband has been jailed again for driving the wrong way along a motorway while over the drink-drive limit.

Madge Gillespie hit a road crossing barrier before entering the M77 at J2, near Pollok, on an off slip road.

The 65-year-old admitted the charges and was jailed for six months and banned from driving for five years.

Gillespie was jailed for four years in 2005 for culpable homicide after stabbing her husband.

Jailing her at Glasgow Sheriff Court, Sheriff John Beckett told Gillespie: "I regret that I do not consider any other sentence but a prison sentence is appropriate to mark the gravity of this crime.

Police 'bravery'

"It is not a light step to send a lady of your age to prison."

The sheriff added: "It is only through the luck, skill and bravery of the police officers that prevented a tragedy occurring."

At a previous hearing Gillespie admitted hitting a barrier at a pedestrian crossing before entering the M77 motorway on the off slip road at junction two, Pollok, Barrhead, and driving north on the southbound carriageway.

The former primary school teacher, from Giffnock, East Renfrewshire, admitted continuing to drive the wrong way down the motorway, in the path of cars and going on to the M8 motorway, travelling in the wrong direction and causing a police car to take action to avoid a collision.

She continued driving the wrong way despite marked police cars on both sides signalling her to stop.

The 65-year-old also admitted a charge of drinking and driving. The court heard there was 91 milligrams of alcohol in her blood and the legal limit is 80.

Sentence reduced

Gillespie was jailed for four years in March 2005 for killing her construction worker husband although her jail term was cut by a year after an appeal.

She stabbed her husband in the arm, severing an artery.

He tried to drive to hospital, but bled to death and was found by police slumped behind the wheel of his Jeep.

Gillespie, was originally charged with murdering her husband on 14 July 2004.

The Crown accepted she was not guilty of murder, but guilty of the lesser crime of culpable homicide.

The prosecution's reasons for accepting a reduced plea were based on the fact that the knife blow, although not a freak one, had not been intended to kill him.

The Crown concluded after hearing from two psychiatrists, that at the time Gillespie slashed her husband, her responsibility was diminished because of mental illness.

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