Glasgow & West Scotland

Husband jailed for three years for killing sick wife

Ian Gordon Image copyright Spindrift
Image caption Ian Gordon smothered his wife with a pillow at their home in Troon

A devoted husband who killed his wife in a "final act of love" has been jailed for three years and four months.

Ian Gordon, 67, smothered wife Patricia, 63, with a pillow at their home in Troon, Ayrshire in April 2016.

The High Court in Edinburgh heard Gordon acted because his partner of 46 years had been suffering from ill health.

A jury earlier heard the couple had a death pact as Mrs Gordon was convinced she was suffering from lung cancer.

But she did not want to be treated for her health problems because she was afraid of hospitals.

Gordon was convicted of culpable homicide last month.

No malice

On Tuesday, defence counsel Gordon Jackson QC told judge Lord Arthurson that a doctor who knew Gordon said the accused did not act with malice.

Mr Jackson added: "He said it was a 'final act of love'.

"That is exactly what happened."

Passing sentence, Lord Arthurson told Gordon: "There are powerful mitigatory factors in your favour.

"However, given the nature of the charge to which you have been convicted of, a custodial sentence is inevitable.

"It is in the public interest that I discharge my duties."

Gordon was sentenced to three years and four months.

He originally went on trial at the High Court in Glasgow last month on a charge of murder.

But the charge was withdrawn after jurors heard evidence from his daughter, Gail Whyte.

In evidence, Mrs Whyte said she was glad her father helped her mother.

She also told the court she knew about a "pact" her parents had and that her mother knew her own mind.

Mrs Whyte added: "My mum was my dad's entire world, everything he did was for my mum.

"She was his reason for getting up in the morning."

Family 'united'

Mr Jackson told the court Gordon's family fully supported him.

The lawyer argued the circumstances surrounding Mrs Gordon's death were such that the matter could be dealt with by the imposition of a non custodial sentence.

Mr Jackson added: "This is a very, very close family.

"There should not be a custodial sentence in this case - that's my position entirely.

"It is absolutely clear that this family is united in this matter."

Reflecting on the unusual circumstances, he said: "They can't get the grieving process started because they are spending all of the time supporting their father.

"It would be a tragedy for them and for their father if he went to jail - it would be a tragedy upon tragedy.

"I have never came across a case quite like this one."

But Lord Arthurson told Mr Gordon, who has no previous convictions, that he had no other option but to impose a custodial term.

He added that the sentence was discounted from a five-year term.

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