A former policeman has failed to have his conviction for murdering his wife quashed.
Keith Farquharson was jailed for a minimum of 15 years for choking and smothering wife Alice at their home in Aberdeen in August 2019.
The 61-year-old had tried to claim her death – which happened moments after she asked if he loved her – had been accidental, but a jury found him guilty of murder.
Passing sentence at the High Court in Glasgow last year, judge Lady Stacey told the retired police inspector he had “destroyed his family”.
But in an attempt to clear his name, the retired traffic cop went to the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh and argued he had suffered a miscarriage of justice.
Defence advocate Ian Duguid QC told judges Lord Carloway, Lord Turnbull and Lord Pentland that the trial judge had misdirected jurors.
Mr Duguid said that Lady Stacey told jurors that Mrs Farquharson’s cause of death was not in dispute, and that they could accept she had died as a consequence of her neck being compressesd.
The defence advocate argued this was a misrepresentation of Farquharson’s position and that the statement “undermined” his case.
Mr Duguid said the defence case was that Mrs Farquharson could have died as a result of a heart attack. He added his client had put his hand over his wife’s mouth because he didn’t want neighbours to hear them arguing.
Mr Duguid argued the statement that the cause of death wasn’t in dispute was inaccurate and may have resulted in a miscarriage of justice.
However advocate depute Alex Prentice QC told the appeal judges that evidence presented to the court was “suggestive of mechanical asphyxiation” and that there had been no misdirection.
The appeal judges agreed, and threw out the request to quash the conviction.
During the trial last March, jurors heard Farquharson had several affairs during his 33-year marriage.
However, his wife stood by him – even when he was demoted at work for sending a sleazy poem to a female colleague.
On August 29, 2019, Mrs Farquharson, 56, asked her husband if he still loved her.
Farquharson – a former traffic officer who left the force in 2010 – told the court that her death had been accidental after she started yelling at him.
He claimed the 56-year-old had yelled: “I hate you. Why are you so cold? You show me no affection” before “lashing out”.
He told the court he put his hand over her mouth to stop her screaming.
His plea to the reduced charge of culpable homicide was rejected.
Sentencing him to a minimum of 15 years, Lady Stacey said: “You had been a police officer for many years. It is distressing a man who held such a position should behave like this and commit such a serious crime.”