Man who murdered wife by hitting her 11 times with hammer jailed

Peter Maher carried out a 'sadistic and brutal' attack on wife Jeanna before abandoning her body in the family home.

Glasgow man Peter Maher handed life sentence for murder of wife Jeanna by hitting her with hammer Police Scotland

A man who horrifically murdered his wife with a hammer has received a life sentence.

Peter Maher delivered at least 11 blows to Jeanna Maher at their home in Drumchapel, Glasgow on September 26, 2018.

Jurors heard how two of their sons discovered the 51-year-old’s trussed up body in her bedroom.

Supermarket worker Jeanna had previously suffered at her 61-year-old husband’s violent hands.

Relatives and colleagues had pleaded with her to leave Maher, but the mum-of-three did not want to break up the family home.

Maher had denied the killing at the High Court in Glasgow, insisting not to know who the culprit was.

The trial was mainly held in his absence due to his disruptive behaviour in court.

Lord Mulholland ordered Maher to spend at least 24 years behind bars.

The judge said: “You subjected your wife to a sustained brutal attack – you assaulted her and when she tried to defend herself you bound her wrists, arms and ankles with ligatures.

“You subjected this poor woman to repeated hammer blows to the head 11 times but probably more.

“You did nothing to help your wife…you left her to die having inflicted sadistic violence with an appalling catalogue of injuries.

“Your sentence is not the only life sentence as you have given your sons and your wife’s family life sentences and grief – you will pay the heavy price for what you did.”

The court heard how the couple had been married for around 30 years.

Jeanna held down three different jobs to provide for her family while her husband stayed at home.

The popular mum was known as “Mrs Asda” for the amount of hours she put in at the branch in Bearsden, East Dunbartonshire.

On the day of the murder, Jeanna had been waiting for her landlords to visit to check out work needing done in her kitchen.

Son Stephen, 35, recalled making the grim discovery of Jeanna’s body.

Pathologist Marjorie Turner concluded Jeanna died from blunt force trauma to the head.

In a post-mortem report, Dr Turner noted: “The patter of head injury is indicative of multiple blows with a heavy blunt object…at least 11 to the scalp alone, but probably many more.”

Tony Graham, defending, told the hearing that Maher refused to give instruction for mitigation in relation to sentencing.

The case against Maher had been protracted since he first appeared in the dock.

In 2019, he had been assessed as unfit to stand trial but prosecutors later re-raised proceedings against him and Maher went on trial in April 2022.

Maher went on to sack his then lawyers causing the case to be halted.

The latest trial began in late January, but Maher was not in the dock for the majority of the hearing due to outbursts in the courtroom.

Lord Mulholland had ordered him to be returned to the cells.

It was revealed that Maher has previous convictions for fraud, assault and robbery as well as road traffic matters.

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