Glasgow & West Scotland

Christopher Kelly jailed for killing Dorothy Beattie in Dunoon

Dorothy Beattie Image copyright BBC - police handout
Image caption Dorothy Beattie was strangled by her friend and former support worker Christopher Kelly

A former support worker who killed a woman he previously cared for has been jailed for five years and three months.

Christopher Kelly, 40, strangled his friend Dorothy Beattie, 51, at her home in Dunoon, Argyll and Bute, on 22 May.

The High Court in Glasgow heard he attacked her after she allegedly made a jibe about his children.

Kelly, who was caught after confessing to a GP, was originally charged with murder but pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of culpable homicide.

The court heard how Kelly had previously been a support worker for Ms Beattie, who suffered from a number of medical conditions including seizures.

'Derogatory' remarks

The divorced mother and Kelly later became friends and often socialised together.

The social care graduate attacked her at her home, however, after she allegedly made "derogatory" remarks about his children.

Kelly grabbed Ms Beattie and strangled her before leaving the flat.

He later returned and on finding her dead sat with her body before moving it to her bed before fleeing.

The court was told Kelly took a train to Edinburgh having used Ms Beattie's bank card to steal £300 from his victim's bank account.

The victim's body was found by her daughter, who had failed to establish contact, on 25 May.

Kelly apparently slept rough in Edinburgh until 28 May when he attended a GP surgery and confessed to killing Ms Beattie.

Kelly told a doctor that "something bad has happened" adding: "I think I killed her."

'Blacked out'

He went on: "I remember fighting and grabbing her around the neck. I blacked out and don't remember anything until I suddenly became aware she was dead.

"I carried her body to the bed and left the house. I've not been back since."

Kelly also said: "We're just pals - I had been her support worker."

Police were called and Kelly told officers the last few days had been "torture".

The court heard Ms Beattie's injuries involved the use of "significant force".

Judge Lord Bannatyne said the jail-term would have been seven years, but for Kelly's guilty plea.

The judge said: "On any view, given what has been said, this is a tragic case."

Kelly mouthed "sorry" to the victim's two daughters as was lead handcuffed to the cells.

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