Tayside and Central Scotland

Jenny Methven murder trial told accused attempted suicide

Jenny Methven
Image caption William Kean told police officers he had never been near Jenny Methven's cottage on the day she died

The man accused of murdering a Perthshire pensioner apparently tried to commit suicide, a jury has been told.

Jenny Methven, 80, from Forteviot, died on 20 February this year.

Giving evidence at the High Court in Glasgow, William Kean's brother-in-law, John Gregory, said he had noticed Mr Kean had a cut on his neck a month after the murder.

Mr Kean, 46, denies all the charges against him.

Mr Gregory described Mr Kean as having a cut in his neck when he went to pick him up after receiving a phone call from him on 19 March - a month after the murder.

The court was told that Mr Kean was eventually taken to Murray Royal Psychiatric Hospital in Perth.

The trial also heard that the accused had phoned his brother-in-law a few days after being taken to hospital.

'Usual self'

Mr Gregory told police that the 46-year-old had said: "I'm sorry I was trying to do away with myself...the business was getting the better of me."

When asked what he meant by this he said he was talking about the business he was running.

The jury has also heard that the accused told police he had never been near Mrs Methven's cottage on the day she died.

Det Con Jillian McGregor said Mr Kean had told them he had last seen the pensioner three to four weeks earlier and said: "She seemed her usual cheery self."

Prosecutor Alex Prentice QC asked Det Con McGregor: "Would it have been of assistance if someone had come forward to say they were in the house on 20 February and found Mrs Methven alive but injured?"

The police officer replied: "Yes, definitely."

Cut fingertips

Mr Kean is accused of murdering Ms Methven at her Perthshire cottage by repeatedly striking her on the head and body with a blunt instrument.

He is also alleged to have repeatedly cut his own fingertips and palms in order to prevent the police getting useable print samples and with stealing £15,000 from Mrs Methven's cottage on 14 September last year.

He is further accused of attempting to defeat the ends of justice between 20 February and 28 March this year by pouring bleach or similar liquid onto bloodstained trousers and cutting a pocket from them and concealing the trousers and pocket material in the eaves of a garage.

The trial, before Lord Glennie, continues.

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