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Retired police inspector guilty of murdering wife in Aberdeen

Alice Farquharson and Keith Farquharson Image copyright Police Scotland
Image caption Keith Farquharson claimed his wife's death was an accident

A former police inspector has been found guilty of murdering his wife in Aberdeen.

Keith Farquharson, 60, claimed his 56-year-old wife Alice died by accident, following a struggle in bed in August last year.

The former traffic officer, who retired from the police in 2010, told the High Court in Glasgow he had put his hand over her mouth to stop her screaming.

However, the jury found him guilty of murder. Sentence was deferred.

Farquharson had admitted having affairs with three women and said his wife of 33 years - a pupil support assistant at Hazlehead Primary School - did not trust him.

After her death he initially claimed he heard a noise while in the shower that morning, then found his wife lying in the room. But he later admitted the claim was not true.

Image caption Emergency services were called to Angusfield Avenue last August

Farquharson told the trial that he had continued with the lie because he was "in a state of shock".

He said: "I felt guilty and did not want my family to know."

Detectives initially treated Alice's death as "non-suspicious", but one officer pushed for further inquiries.

The findings of a post-mortem examination eventually led to the death being treated as murder.

In 1998, Farquharson had been fined £500 for breach of the peace after admitting sending an obscene poem to a young female constable. He was demoted from inspector to constable after the case.

In a statement following the verdict, Alice's family said: "She was an incredibly kind and caring person, with a great love for life and the people in it.

"She was always thinking of others and put everyone else before herself.

"Our family will never be the same again and we cannot begin to describe the devastating impact this tragedy has had on us."

Image copyright Police Scotland
Image caption Alice Farquharson was described as a "kind and caring person"

Det Insp Gary Winter said Keith Farquharson had deceived paramedics, police officers, his friends and his own family on the day of Alice's death.

"Alice's children have had to sit through days of harrowing evidence in court over the last week, as well as having to give evidence themselves," he added.

"I can't begin to imagine how difficult this has been, in addition to dealing with the devastating impact this incident has had on their family.

"Although today's verdict can't change what happened, I hope the outcome gives them some sense of justice for their mum."

Farquharson will be sentenced on 23 March.

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