Glasgow & West Scotland

Wife killer David Lilburn loses second appeal against conviction

David and Ann Lilburn
Image caption David Lilburn claimed a "black shadow" told him to kill his wife

A man who stabbed his wife 86 times has lost a second appeal against his conviction for her murder.

David Lilburn, 52, admitted killing 43-year-old Ann in Paisley, Renfrewshire, in July 2007 but claimed a "black shadow" told him to do it.

A jury dismissed his claim of mental illness and convicted him of murder. He was jailed for a minimum of 19 years.

Appeal court judges rejected claims that Lilburn's responsibility was diminished when he killed his wife.

During his trial at the High Court in Glasgow in 2008, Lilburn's lawyers maintained that he should be convicted of the lesser charge of culpable homicide on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

New evidence

The jury heard that a "black shadow" had told the former accountant to murder his wife.

An earlier appeal was rejected by judges at the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh but Lilburn's case was referred back to the court by the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (SCCRC) which looks at alleged miscarriages of justice.

But the Lord Justice Clerk, Lord Carloway, sitting with Lady Dorrian and Lord Bracadale, rejected the latest legal challenge.

Lilburn's latest appeal was based on new evidence grounds that it was contended supported the view that his responsibility was diminished at the relevant time.

It was based on observations of Lilburn as a patient at the high security State Hospital at Carstairs.

Lord Carloway said: "It is a striking feature of the case that, contrary to the accounts of the appellant's mental state given by the new psychiatrists, there is no substantial body of evidence from which it can reasonably be concluded that the appellant was in a hypomanic state at the time of the killing."

The appeal judges came to the view that it cannot be said that the new evidence could have had a material influence on the jury's consideration of diminished responsibility at the trial given the facts spoken to in testimony.

The trial judge also considered that the new evidence could not have produced a different verdict.

They rejected the appeal but said if it had been allowed it would have led to a re-trial.

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