Glasgow & West Scotland

Lecturer admits killing wife in 'stabbing frenzy' as children slept

Robert Kerr and Xin Xin Liu
Image caption Robert Kerr admitted killing his wife Xin Xin Liu at their home in East Renfrewshire

A college lecturer has admitted killing his wife in "a stabbing frenzy" after wrongly believing he was not the father of their two children.

Robert Kerr, 39, inflicted 76 wounds on 39-year-old Xin Xin Liu at their home in Newton Mearns, East Renfrewshire.

The Crown accepted his plea to culpable homicide on the grounds of diminished responsibility after it emerged he suffered "an abnormality of the mind".

Kerr will remain at the State Hospital under an interim compulsion order.

At the High Court in Glasgow, judge Lord Boyd imposed the interim compulsion order for Kerr to remain at Carstairs and the case was adjourned until November.

The court heard that Xin Xin had moved to Scotland from China around 15 years ago to study law at Aberdeen University.

It was there she met Kerr, who was completing a computer course. They were married in 2003.

Kerr was latterly a lecturer at West College Scotland in Paisley, while Xin Xin was training to be a translator.

'Paranoid feelings'

They were described as a "quiet and private couple" with family not aware of any problems between them.

In April this year - weeks before the killing - Kerr had contacted his GP complaining of stress in respect of "work and personal issues".

He added he was suffering from anxiety, insomnia and spoke about "paranoid feelings".

Four days before the attack, Kerr spoke to a nurse and said he had been feeling much better and appeared to be sounding "chirpier".

The court heard that on 26 April, however, Kerr attacked Xin Xin as their two sons slept upstairs.

Just before midnight, he dialled 999 and admitted: "I have just killed my wife. I murdered her in a stabbing frenzy."

He went on to state there was "blood all over the place".

Police discovered Xin Xin lying on the kitchen floor with a knife still in her body.

After being held, Kerr then told officers: "I found out tonight they were not mine."

Paternity test

Prosecutor Jane Farquharson said he had "suspicions" that a friend was the father of his children.

Ms Farquharson told the court: "A paternity test recently carried out...has since confirmed that Robert Kerr is the biological father."

A number of blood-stained items were found at the couple's house, including a milk carton.

The advocate depute said: "Kerr has since admitted that he had made himself a hot drink after this incident."

A post mortem later revealed Xin Xin had suffered a total of 76 wounds.

The court heard that Kerr had since been receiving treatment at the State Hospital at Carstairs.

One doctor concluded that his "ability to control his conduct" that night was "substantially impaired by reason of abnormality of mind".

He was said to be suffering from a "delusional disorder" including his belief about the paternity of his children.

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