Glasgow & West Scotland

Francis Santhio admits murdering wife with dumbbell in Glasgow

Francis Santhio Image copyright Police Scotland
Image caption Francis Santhio faces a mandatory life sentence for murdering his wife

A man who bludgeoned his estranged wife to death with a dumbbell after moaning she had been treating him "like a slave" has admitted murdering her.

Francis Santhio, 53, attacked 49-year-old Amelet Francis at her home in Toryglen, Glasgow, on 4 September.

The couple's eldest son discovered his mother's body and Santhio was later arrested after making a tearful confession to another of his children.

He faces a mandatory life sentence when he is sentenced at a later date.

The court heard that Sri-Lankan born Santhio and his wife had been married since 1989, but he later became estranged from his family.

Church contact

He lived at a flat in the city's Govan area while his wife stayed in Toryglen with their three sons.

On the morning of the murder Santhio was seen approaching his wife at mass at a local church.

Later in the day, their eldest son got a call at work to say something had happened to his mother.

He immediately called her home and his father answered stating: "She can't speak - there has been an accident."

Their son rushed to the flat and discovered the door unlocked.

Describing the horror he eventually found in a bedroom, prosecutor Bruce Erroch said: "On looking through the door, he saw his mother on her back on the floor.

"She was covered in blood and suffering from an obvious head injury.

"He immediately thought she was dead and did not fully enter the room."

The son dialled 999, but paramedics could not save his mother.

Money claim

After the killing, an emotional Santhio turned up at the school of one of his other sons.

He told him Amelet had fallen after he hit her and that she "could not get back up".

Santhio was soon detained by police near the scene.

On being told his wife was dead, he said: "She treated me like a slave. She retained my passport and kept my money."

The court also heard that, while on remand, Santhio called his daughter, who had not heard from him for two years.

He admitted he had got "angry" with Amelet and smacked her on the head with a weight.

Mr Erroch told the court Amelet suffered "multiple fractures to the skull" consistent with being hit with a "heavy object".

The court also heard Santhio had previous convictions including "instances of domestic abuse" towards his wife.

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