Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Man who murdered wife as children slept sentenced

Leighanne Cameron and Erhan Havaleoglu Image copyright Police handout

A man has been given a life sentence for murdering his estranged wife at her West Lothian home while their two children slept upstairs.

Erhan Havaleoglu, 36, killed Leighanne Cameron, 29, by strangling and stabbing her in Mid Calder on 28 October 2015.

He must serve a minimum of 20 years before he can apply for parole.

Sentencing him at the High Court in Glasgow, Judge Johanna Johnston said he was guilty of a "cruel, merciless and extremely violent murder".

In August, a jury at the High Court in Paisley found him guilty of murdering Ms Cameron.

The court heard the attack happened after Havaleoglu discovered she was in a relationship with another man.

The judge told Havaleoglu: "Leighanne Cameron was much loved and had everything to live for."

She said Ms Cameron's injuries had been "catastrophic".

Image copyright Google
Image caption The attack happened at Ms Cameron's home in Mid Calder

Havaleoglu attacked the mother-of-two shortly after she returned from work.

The killer had been spending the day looking after their children before he struck.

He then fled to Edinburgh and it is thought that on his way there he got rid of the murder weapon and the clothes he had been wearing.

Ms Cameron's body was discovered by her new boyfriend Philip Kilkenny.

Mr Kilkenny called police and revealed Havaleoglu had told Leighanne "she'd never get to love another man".

The court heard the "reality" of Ms Cameron's new relationship had come to "the full attention" of Havaleoglu shortly before the murder.

'Horrific circumstances'

Ian Duguid, defending, said it came from a conversation the killer had with one of his young children.

The QC said this discovery was suggested to be "the catalyst" for the fatal attack.

Mr Duguid: "This is an event that pushed him beyond what his previous behaviour had been."

Havaleoglu had also been accused of assaulting three other women, but he was cleared of those charges at the trial.

Det Ch Insp Raymond Brown, of Police Scotland, said: "Leighanne's death has been absolutely devastating for her family and those close to her.

"Her five-year-old daughter and two-year-old son have been robbed of their loving mum in the most horrific of circumstances.

"Havaleoglu has callously refused to admit responsibility for Leighanne's murder ever since, despite extensive evidence against him."

He added: "Unfortunately, nothing can undo his actions that day but hopefully the outcome at court provides some form of comfort and closure to Leighanne's family and friends."

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