A man who murdered his partner by strangling her and then slashing her throat has been jailed for life and ordered to spend at least 18 years behind bars.
Daryll Paterson, 36. carried out the brutal attack on former dental nurse Louise Aitchison at the home they shared in Park Terrace, East Kilbride, on April 28 last year.
The couple met while walking their dogs and began living together at her home in March 2019.
At the High Court in Glasgow judge Lady Stacey told Paterson: “You pled guilty to the murder of Louise Aitchison, a woman whom you had been living with as your partner.
“She was only 33 years of age. She had served the community here and overseas and had much to look forward to.
“She was entitled to look to you for love and support but you betrayed her trust and by your actions you took her life.
“You know that you killed Louise and now you will have to live with that knowledge for the rest of your life.”
Defence QC Donald Findlay told the court that Paterson had had a difficult childhood and his life was blighted by alcohol.
He added: “The pair met by chance and through their love of dogs began a relationship.
“He really does not have a clear recollection of how this came to pass. He has various snapshots.
“He does accept the two of them had a considerable amount to drink, there was clearly some kind of argument which gathered momentum and got out of hand.
“He can remember having his hand on her throat, he can remember her having a knife. He can remember a fight and he can remember the aftermath.”
The court heard that on April 28 2019, Louise phoned the police at 10.45pm and asked them to remove Paterson from her home. He left and said he would phone to collect his stuff.
Prosecutor Alex Prentice QC said: “At some point that evening Mr Paterson murdered Louise Aitchison by compressing her neck, restricting her breathing and striking her on the neck with a knife causing a gaping wound.”
At 1am on April 29, Paterson turned up at his friend Adam Ford’s house and told him: “I’ve done something really bad, I’m going to go away for a very long time. My life’s over.”
The next day Paterson confessed to his sister Khiya Paterson saying: “She’s gone. I’ve done something really bad.”
When asked where Louise was, Paterson told his sister she was in the bedroom and the knife, which he had washed, was in the kitchen.
Paterson told his sister: “We had an argument and she punched me on the throat. I told her not to do that, but she hit me again on the same place.
“She was kicking me and things got ugly and then she had a knife.
“I don’t know what happened, but suddenly I was on top of her with my hands round her throat. And then it happened.”
As he made the last remark he moved his hand across his throat.
When police entered the flat they found Louise lying dead in the bedroom, covered with a blanket.
Three knives were found in the kitchen sink.
A post mortem examination found the cause of death was neck injuries. The wound to Louise’s throat measured almost eight inches. There was also a fracture to one of the bones in her neck.