Edinburgh man jailed for trying to kill disabled wife

image captionJohn Millar claimed he was trying to end his wife's suffering when he attacked Phyllis Millar

An Edinburgh pensioner who admitted attempting to murder his disabled wife has been jailed for four-and-a-half years.

John Millar, 67, claimed he was trying to end her suffering when he attacked Phyllis Millar, 65, at their home in Ravelston on 28 June 2009.

Mrs Millar, who has multiple sclerosis, denied claims by her husband that she said she wanted to die.

Millar will also be on licence for two-and-a-half years when he is released.

Millar was sentenced at the High Court in Edinburgh on Wednesday.

He attempted to smother his wife with a pillow.

On sentencing, Lady Smith said: "On 28 June 2009, far from acting in a caring fashion towards your wife, without provocation and for no apparent reason, you quite deliberately tried to kill her.

"Preying on her vulnerability, you picked up a pillow and held it over her face in an attack which lasted for about five minutes.

"Fortunately your wife was able to get one of her hands between her face and the pillow so as to enable her to breathe and to shout for you to stop. You eventually did so."

Mrs Millar, who relied on her husband to care for her, is now living in a nursing home.

The couple had known each other for 13 years and married in August 2008 after living together for some time in Ravelston Gardens. Mrs Millar had children from a previous marriage.

She thought the attack lasted about five minutes.

Millar himself dialled 999, telling police: "I tried to kill my wife."

While being questioned later, he told officers: "She would be dead and out of the way.

"When I say out of the way, you know, she would be, perhaps, not having to put up with, you know, her life and it was my life too, I suppose, really."

More on this story

Related Internet Links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.