Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Man guilty of murdering sister in St Andrews

Charles Gordon Image copyright Police Scotland
Image caption Charles Gordon was found guilty of murdering his sister Elizabeth Bowe

A brother who choked his sister to death with his bare hands in Fife has been convicted of her murder.

Charles Gordon, 52, was found guilty of killing his Elizabeth Bowe, 50, at her St Andrews flat on 17 September last year.

Gordon, who denied murder, claimed he only grabbed his sister by the neck after she threatened to claim he raped her.

He was originally accused of raping her, but that charge was withdrawn.

He will be sentenced next month.

'Tragic case'

The jury convicted him of murdering her by compressing her neck, placing a dressing gown round her neck and a bag over her head.

Judge John Morris deferred sentence on Gordon until July for background reports.

The judge said: "This is a very tragic case. "

Prosecutor Iain McSporran QC said: "Elizabeth's family are clearly distraught with their loss. Her son is having difficulty coming to terms with the loss of his mother."

The High Court in Glasgow heard Gordon strangled his sister and then called the police at 21:24.

He told a 999 operator: "I think I've killed my sister. She's dead and I'm alive."

Police who arrived at the scene found Gordon calmly smoking a cigarette while his dying sister, who was naked from the waist down, lay just feet away from him with blood coming from her mouth and a blue dressing gown wrapped round her neck.

Torn pieces of a plastic bag, one of which had Ms Bowe's blood on it, were nearby.

She was taken to Ninewells hospital in Dundee where she died on 20 September last year.

Pathologist Dr David Sadler told the court that Ms Bowe died from strangulation.

In evidence, Gordon admitted killed his sister, but not murdering her.

He said: "I grabbed hold of her by the throat with my left hand. I kept a hold of her until she hit the floor. She slumped and went down. When she went down I let her go."

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