Man murdered wife with hammer at family home after years of abuse

Jeanna Maher suffered a catalogue of injuries at the hands of her husband before her body was discovered by one of her sons.

Glasgow man Peter Maher murdered wife Jeanna with hammer after catalogue of abuse Police Scotland

A husband has been convicted of the horrific hammer murder of his wife.

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 the 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 was convicted of murder following a trial at the High Court in Glasgow.

He had denied the killing insisting not to know who the culprit was.

Peter Maher murdered wife Jeanna at the family home in GlasgowPolice Scotland

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

Maher initially agreed to sit in the dock to be sentenced but refused to leave his cell when called upon.

Maher faces a life sentence when the case calls again by video link on Wednesday.

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.

Jeanna’s sister told jurors how she was aware of the couple’s effectively loveless marriage before her death.

Margaret McCandless, 69, added: “He would put her down constantly. He would tell her to sit down, shut up in front of people.

“She could not voice and opinion. She was not allowed to go out, she was stupid, too old…do not do this, do not do that.”

The court also heard of the physical abuse Maher meted out towards his wife.

This included after raging Maher had once failed to get a job at the same supermarket.

Days later, Jeanna came into work with badly hurt eyes.

Colleague Angela McShane recalled: “Her eye was really black. I said: ‘What happened?’.

“She said she had asked Peter for the remote, he had thrown it and hit her in the face.”

The witness also spoke of Jeanna later having marks on her arms, but claimed she had done it while working in a chip shop.

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

It was at the house her husband instead brutally murdered the mum.

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

He told how he had finished work that night before him and younger brother Richard met to each cycle back home.

It was their dad who answered the door when they arrived.

Prosecutor Steven Borthwick KC asked the witness: “How did he seem to you?”

He replied: “Same as any normal day.”

Stephen said he went upstairs to run a bath and saw the door to his parents’ room ajar.

Pushing it open, he described it as an “absolute bombsite” with “everything everywhere”.

Stephen recalled shouting downstairs asking where his mum was.

His brother Richard also went into the room, pulled back covers before letting out a “gasp” or “scream” after finding Jeanna lying there.

He immediately dialled 999 and told to try CPR.

Prosecutor Mr Borthwick asked the witness: “Did that have any effect?”

Stephen: “Zero. It would not have had any effect.”

Maher later claimed to police he had been out that afternoon walking their dog.

He stated he “did not know who was responsible” and “did not know anyone that would harm his wife”.

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

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.

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

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