Glasgow & West Scotland

Man gets life for slashing Ayr mother-of-two's neck

Police at the scene
Image caption Ann McLean was found dead at a property in Main Road on 28 November

An Ayrshire man who murdered his partner by slashing her neck has been jailed for life.

John Prentice, 55, admitted killing Ruth McLean, who was known as Ann, at a house in Ayr in November 2018.

Ms McLean, who was 41, was his partner at the time and a mother of two.

At the High Court in Glasgow, Prentice, who has a previous conviction for attempted murder, was ordered to serve at least 18 years before being considered for release.

The court heard that Ms McLean had been in a relationship with Prentice since 2017. In the weeks before her death the couple had been staying at the home of Lisa Hutchison in Main Road, Ayr.

Ms Hutchison told police that Prentice said Ann "was the only thing keeping him here".

The court was told that on 28 November 2018, Ms McLean was alive and well at 03:00. However at 05:20 Ms Hutchison said she heard Prentice call her through to their bedroom which was in darkness.

Prosecutor Paul Kearney said: "When she turned on the light she saw Ann McLean was lying, clearly very seriously injured.

"She described her as lying rigid with her arms at her side, covered in blood and the mattress soaked in blood."

'Deep cuts'

Prentice's jeans were soaked in blood and he had said: "I don't want to be here anymore."

Ms Hutchison did not see any injuries on Prentice, but noticed a large knife with a taped handle lying on the floor of the bedroom.

When police arrived at 05:35 Ms McLean was dead and the accused had wounds to each of his wrists. He was conscious and mumbling and incoherent. A large knife was at his feet.

Ms McLean had deep wounds to each of her wrists and deep cuts to both sides of her neck. Pathologists said the cause of death was slash wounds to her neck.

Police found two notes which appeared to be suicide notes in the bedroom.

Judge Lord Fairley told Prentice there was only one sentence he could pass - life imprisonment.

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