Ex-detective accused of killing wife said it was ‘an accident’

Keith Farquharson, 60, is on trial following the death of his wife at their home in Aberdeen last year.

Court: Alice Farquharson died last year.
Court: Alice Farquharson died last year.

A retired police inspector accused of murdering his wife has claimed her death was an accident.

Keith Farquharson insisted Alice Farquharson passed away following a struggle in bed after she asked if he loved her and then hit him.

The 60-year-old – who admitted having affairs with three women – said his wife of 33 years did not “trust” him.

Farquharson denies murdering the 56-year-old school support assistant at their home in Aberdeen last August 29.

On Monday, jurors heard that a guilty plea to the reduced charge of culpable homicide had previously been rejected.

Ex-traffic officer Farquharson, who retired from the police in 2010, testified at his trial at the High Court in Glasgow.

He recalling getting up on the morning of the alleged murder and his wife asking if was he awake.

Farquharson went on: “A few minutes later, she said ‘do you love me?’

“I replied yes and she said ‘you never tell me’. I probably groaned a bit as that was something she said to me frequently.

“She then slapped me quite hard on the side of the face.”

Farquharson then described a struggle with his wife in their bedroom.

He stated Ms Farquharson yelled at him: “I hate you. Why are you so cold? You show me no affection.”

Farquharson claimed he moved to stop his wife “lashing out”. This included putting his hand over her mouth to stop her screaming.

He added: “She was still struggling then it was if she started to choke. I knew something was wrong. When I let go she just rolled off the bed.”

Farquharson went on to dial 999, but Ms Farquharson’s life could not be saved. She was later found to have suffered “mechanical asphyxia”.

Jurors previously heard how Farquharson told others he heard a noise while in the shower that morning before finding his wife lying in the room.

He admitted the claim was not true.

Farquharson said: “I continued with the lie because I was in a state of shock. I felt guilty and did not want my family to know.”

He insisted he was not trying to stop his wife “breathing” that morning.

His QC Ian Duguid asked: “Did you intend to kill her?”

Farquharson replied: “No, not at all. It was totally accidental. I wish it never happened.”

The advocate also put to him: “Did you ever anticipate your wife was going to die during the struggle?”

He replied: “No. I thought she would calm down and then we would speak about it.”

Farquharson was earlier quizzed about his marriage and admitted having affairs with three women.

The court was told last week how “sexually explicit” messages from 2018 had been found on his phone.

The defendant claimed his adultery had ended by 2019.

Mr Duguid asked if Ms Farquharson ever checked her husband’s mobile.

Farquharson responded: “She regularly looked at my phone. She did not trust me.”

Under cross-examination, prosecutor Alex Prentice QC said Ms Farquharson had been “fighting for her life” that morning.

He stated: “You compressed her neck and maintained pressure until she died.”

Farquharson replied: “I did not do it deliberately until she died.”

The murder charge alleges he seized hold of Ms Farquharson, struggled with her before compressing her neck and face.

It is further claimed Farquharson 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”.

Evidence in the trial is now complete. The trial, before Lady Stacey, continues.


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