Husband with severe dementia who killed wife of 50 years to remain in hospital

John Pryde attacked his wife Catherine a week before their golden wedding anniversary in 2023.

Man with severe dementia who killed wife of 50 years Catherine Pryde to remain at Forth Valley hospital SNS Group

A husband with severe dementia who killed his wife of 50 years is to remain in hospital.

John Pryde, 77, carried out a violent attack on Catherine Pryde at their home in Fishcross, Clackmannanshire in March 2023.

The 74-year-old died a week before their golden wedding anniversary.

Prior to the tragedy, the couple were described as having a “loving and fulfilling relationship”.

Pryde had initially been accused of murdering Catherine, but was deemed unfit to stand trial due to his condition.

Instead, an examination of facts of hearing – where evidence was led before a judge, but no jury – took place in April.

Pryde was formally acquitted of the murder charge and was initially ordered to be detained at the State Hospital in Carstairs for treatment.

A further hearing took place on Wednesday at the High Court in Glasgow.

Pryde – who also uses the name Ian – had his attendance excused.

Lord Arthurson heard briefly from prosecutor Mark Mohammed KC and Pryde’s lawyer Mark Stewart KC

The judge went on to state: “With overwhelming unanimity, there is a clear recommendation that I make a compulsion order.”

This means the pensioner will be kept at Forth Valley Royal Hospital in Larbert, Stirling where Lord Arthurson remarked he appears to be getting “exemplary care”.

He added “thereafter, other agencies will become involved” regarding Pryde.

The examination of facts hearing in Dundee heard how Pryde had been diagnosed with dementia in 2021.

On the day of this incident, he alerted a neighbour that there was a body in his house, but that he did not know who it was.

On later being questioned by police, the OAP could not understand what was happening and had no recollection of his wife’s death.

Catherine’s body had been found on the kitchen floor.

She passed away as a result of blunt force trauma to her head, chest and neck.

The court was told Catherine had injuries – including to her brain – which were similar to those seen in road traffic accidents.

Lord Arthurson stated at the last hearing it was “very clear” that the attack was out of character and that the couple “had enjoyed a loving and fulfilling relationship”.

It was said the tragedy was “driven by significant cognitive impairment”.

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