Ex-detective on murder trial ‘upset’ after wife found dead

Police initially believed death of woman allegedly killed by husband was 'non suspicious'.

Alice Farquharson: Body was found in the home she shared with husband, who's accused of murder.
Alice Farquharson: Body was found in the home she shared with husband, who's accused of murder.

Detectives initially decided the death of a woman allegedly killed by her ex-police officer husband was “non suspicious”.

Alice Farquharson’s body was found last August at the home in Aberdeen she shared with Keith Farquharson.

Farquharson, 60, is on trial at the High Court in Glasgow, where he denies murdering his 56 year-old wife last August.

Jurors heard that investigating detectives initially believed there had been no crime and it was only when Inspector Christopher Kerr pushed for further inquiries that a murder probe was launched.

ADVERT

Insp Kerr was one of the officers who attended at the Farquharsons’ home after an earlier 999 call.

Alice had died that morning despite efforts to save her life.

Farquharson – a retired inspector – was initially described as “tearful and upset”.

The court heard he was asked what had happened.

ADVERT

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 Farquharson was in the shower when he heard a “thud” and then gave Alice CPR.

Insp Kerr said he found the dad to be “unsure and doubtful about his recall”.

The inspector went to check Alice – her body was lying in her bed – and noticed “abrasions” on the mum’s face. He said he “found the nature of the death to be suspicious”.

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

Insp Kerr recalled Farquharson “protested” and was “agitated”.

The officer added: “He made a remark to me and said ‘I feel like I am an accused’.”

ADVERT

But, the trial was told the the incident was later “treated as non suspicious”.

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 that the home was to be returned to the family.

“Did you agree with that assessment?”

Insp Kerr: “No.”

The officer agreed he was “not content with the outcome reached” and instructed further inquiries, including a post mortem being “expedited immediately”.

Mr Prentice: “Did you later learn a murder inquiry was being instigated?”

Insp Kerr: “That is correct.”

Ian Duguid QC, defending, later quizzed the witness about Farquharson apparently protesting at being asked to leave his home.

Mr Duguid: “Did you find that odd?”

Insp Kerr: “Under the circumstances, the majority of families are supportive, but Mr Farquharson said something like ‘are you joking?’ and had to be calmed down.”

The murder charge alleges he seized hold of Alice, 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”.

The trial, before Lady Stacey, continues.


You're up to date

You've read today's top stories. Where would you like to go next?