NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Initial 'no crime' conclusion over woman's death in Aberdeen

Alice Farquharson Image copyright POLICE SCOTLAND
Image caption Alice Farquharson died last year

Detectives initially treated the death of a woman allegedly murdered by her former police inspector husband in Aberdeen as "non suspicious", a trial has heard.

Keith Farquharson, 60, denies murdering his wife Alice, 56, last August at their home.

Insp Christopher Kerr contacted CID colleagues over concerns he had.

However, jurors at the High Court in Glasgow heard investigating detectives concluded there had been no crime.

It was only when Insp Kerr pushed for further inquiries that a murder probe was initiated, the court was told.

He was one of the officers who attended at the home of the couple in Angusfield Avenue after an earlier 999 call.

Mrs Farquharson had died that morning despite efforts to save her life.

Her husband- a retired police inspector - was initially described as "tearful and upset".

'Unsure and doubtful'

When asked what had happened, Mr Farquharson allegedly told Insp Kerr he got up that morning then went through for coffee before hearing a noise from the bedroom and discovering his wife.

Jurors earlier heard claims that Mr Farquharson was in the shower when he heard a "thud" and then gave his wife CPR.

Insp Kerr said he found him to be "unsure and doubtful about his recall".

The inspector went on to check Mrs Farqhuarson's body which was on the bed.

The officer noticed "abrasions" on her face and said he "found the nature of the death to be suspicious".

Image caption The alarm was raised in Angusfield Avenue

He informed CID before asking Mr Farquharson and other relatives to leave the property.

Insp Kerr said Mr Farquharson "protested" at this and was "agitated".

The officer added: "He made a remark to me and said 'I feel like I am an accused'."

The trial was told the the incident was later "treated as non suspicious".

'Not content'

Prosecutor Alex Prentice QC put to the inspector: "You had reached a view this should be treated as a suspicious death.

"But, a detective inspector and sergeant decided the matter was not suspicious and that the home was to be returned to the family."

The officer said he was "not content with the outcome reached" and instructed further inquiries including a post-mortem examination being "expedited immediately".

A murder inquiry was later launched.

The murder charge alleges that Mr Farqhuarson seized hold of his wife and struggled with her before compressing her neck and face.

It is further claimed that he left her unconscious after restricting her breathing by covering her nose and mouth.

He is then said to have caused blunt force injury by means unknown.

The trial, before Lady Stacey, continues.

Related Topics

More on this story