NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Woman admits killing dinner lady in Aberdeenshire

Helen Hewer
Image caption Helen Hewer was stabbed to death in Newmachar in July

A woman has admitted killing a 63-year-old school dinner lady who was her substitute mother in Aberdeenshire.

Michelle Wallace, 30, admitted culpable homicide by stabbing Helen Hewer to death after an argument in Greens Road, Newmachar, on Monday 19 July.

The High Court in Edinburgh heard Wallace had a history of mental health difficulties going back to childhood, which included self-harm and overdoses.

Judge Lord Pentland deferred sentence for background reports.

Mrs Hewer was found on the bedroom floor of her home after Wallace dialled 999.

Wallace later told police: "It was me", and added: "I didnae mean to do it."

Defence QC Frances McMenamin said Wallace had stopped taking her medication just weeks before the fatal knife attack.

The defence counsel said Wallace's life had been blighted by family problems and she had been taken in by Mrs Hewer, Wallace's mother's cousin.

There was "an emotional bond" between the two women and Mrs Hewer's death had left Wallace devastated at her actions, she said.

The QC said: "This was a woman who had mothered her in a way her own mother hadn't."

'I freaked'

A row "got out of hand" on the day of the killing, the court heard.

Advocate depute Kay Harper said that, when questioned by police, Wallace described an argument about a man in Mrs Hewer's life.

Wallace told them she felt threatened and neglected.

The prosecutor said: "When the argument got out of hand, the accused said that she grabbed a knife which was lying on the bedside cabinet and stabbed the deceased."

Wallace's blow penetrated her victim's liver and heart.

When police caught up with blood-stained Wallace in a nearby park she told them: "It was me who called you on 999. I just saw blood and freaked."

Wallace also told police: "If I could be where Helen is and swap, I would, seriously would."

Wallace was initially accused of murder but the charge was reduced to culpable homicide.

Sentence was deferred to 3 November in Dumbarton for background reports.

Mother-of-two Mrs Hewer had spent her married life in England and returned to Scotland after the death of her husband in 2002.

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