Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Edinburgh woman jailed for stabbing friend to death

Anne Russell
Image caption Anne Russell admitted killing "platonic friend" David Greenhill

A woman who stabbed her drinking friend to death in his Edinburgh home has been jailed for six years.

Anne Russell, 55, had been accused of murdering David Greenhill and attempting to cover up the crime by planting a knife on him on 11 May.

It was alleged she made it appear Mr Greenhill, 64, had stabbed himself at the house in Niddrie Marischal Drive.

Russell admitted culpable homicide. A charge of attempting to defeat the ends of justice was dropped.

Jailing her at the High Court in Edinburgh, judge Lord Kinclaven said it was accepted that she had been acting under provocation, a doctor found wounds to her fingers and arm which might have been "defensive injuries".

Lord Kinclaven said: "You do have a long history of problematic alcohol use."

Regularly drinking

But, he added: "Your voluntary consumption of alcohol is no excuse. Your offending and use of a weapon has resulted in tragic loss of life and continuing tragedy for the deceased's family."

The court heard that it was Russell who brought emergency services to Mr Greenhill's home.

He was found slumped in a chair with a large kitchen knife in his hand.

Advocate depute Andrew Stewart QC, prosecuting, said Russell and Mr Greenhill had been "platonic friends" for about 10 years, regularly drinking together.

She went to his house on 11 May after buying vodka.

When police arrived they found the table littered with drink bottles and a smashed vodka bottle on the floor.

"He went for me and I defended myself," Russell told them.

The court heard that Mr Greenhill had a blood alcohol level almost three and a half times the legal limit for drivers. Russell's blood alcohol level was almost twice the limit.

Solicitor advocate Jim Stephenson, defending, said Russell was unable to remember clearly what had happened that day.

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