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East Kilbride man jailed for murdering girlfriend

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image copyrightLouise Aitchison family
image captionLouise Aitchison was found dead at her home, police said

A man who murdered his girlfriend by strangling her and then slashing her throat has been jailed for life.

Daryll Paterson, 36, will spend at least 18 years in prison before being eligible for parole.

He earlier admitted killing Louise Aitchison, 33, at the flat they shared in East Kilbride on 28 April last year.

The former dental nurse had called police earlier in the evening and asked them to remove Paterson from their home.

At the High Court in Glasgow, judge Lady Stacey told Paterson that his victim had "served the community here and overseas and had much to look forward to".

"She was entitled to look to you for love and support but you betrayed her trust and by your actions you took her life," the judge added.

"You know that you killed Louise and now you will have to live with that knowledge for the rest of your life."

Defence QC Donald Findlay told the court that Paterson had had a difficult childhood and his life was blighted by alcohol.

image copyrightGoogle
image captionLouise Aitchison was murdered in her home in Park Terrace, East Kilbride

The couple met while walking their dogs and began living together at her home in March 2020.

He said: "The pair met by chance and through their love of dogs began a relationship.

"He really does not have a clear recollection of how this came to pass. He has various snapshots.

"He does accept the two of them had a considerable amount to drink, there was clearly some kind of argument which gathered momentum and got out of hand.

"He can remember having his hand on her throat, he can remember her having a knife. He can remember a fight and he can remember the aftermath."

Confessed to sister

The court heard that on 28 April 2020 Louise phoned the police at 22:45 and asked them to remove Paterson from her home. He left and said he would phone to collect his stuff.

Prosecutor Alex Prentice QC said: "At some point that evening Mr Paterson murdered Louise Aitchison by compressing her neck, restricting her breathing and striking her on the neck with a knife causing a gaping wound."

At 01:00 on 29 April, Paterson turned up at his friend Adam Ford's house and told him: "I've done something really bad, I'm going to go away for a very long time. My life's over."

The next day, on 30 April, Paterson confessed to his sister Khiya Paterson saying: "She's gone. I've done something really bad."

When asked where Ms Aitchison was Paterson told his sister she was in the bedroom and the knife, which he had washed, was in the kitchen.

Paterson told his sister: "We had an argument and she punched me on the throat. I told her not to do that, but she hit me again on the same place.

"She was kicking me and things got ugly and then she had a knife.

"I don't know what happened, but suddenly I was on top of her with my hands round her throat. And then it happened."

As he made the last remark he moved his hand across his throat.

When police entered the flat they found Ms Aitchison lying dead in the bedroom, covered with a blanket.

Three knives were found in the kitchen sink.

A post-mortem examination found the cause of dead was neck injuries. The wound to Ms Aitchison's throat measured almost eight inches. There was also a fracture to one of the bones in her neck.

Related Topics

  • East Kilbride
  • South Lanarkshire Council

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