Highlands & Islands

Woman accused of murdering husband on Skye

High Court in Glasgow
Image caption The trial is being heard at the High Court in Glasgow

A woman has gone on trial at the High Court in Glasgow over the murder of her husband on Skye in February last year.

Sandra Bruce, 61, has also been accused of assaulting Norman Bruce between 1991 and 2014 and on one occasion attempting to strangle him.

Mrs Bruce denied all the charges against her.

Andrew Bruce, Mr Bruce's son from his previous marriage and the trial's first witness, said he believed Mrs Bruce had been a bad influence on his father.

The 37-year-old police officer with the Civic Nuclear Constabulary said his father left his wife, Andrew Bruce's mother, in 1990 when he was about 12.

The court heard that Norman Bruce had lived in Kilmarnock in Ayrshire before later moving to Skye in 1991 or 1992 and that his teenage son and his younger sister only visited there a couple of times.

Andrew Bruce said the accused, who was Sandra Anderson at that time, attacked him in his bed the second time the children had visited.

Prosecutor Andrew Brown QC asked the witness what his "feelings" at that time were towards the accused.

Andrew Bruce said: "I was upset because this was who my dad had left my mum for. I regarded her with suspicion."

'Burst open'

The court heard that when he was a teenager Andrew Bruce wrote a letter to his father in which he claimed he felt the accused was not a "good influence".

Andrew Bruce and his sister went to visit their father in the early to mid 1990s.

It was during this stay that Mrs Bruce appeared "angry" about what was in the letter.

Andrew Bruce told the court: "I felt quite threatened. I did not want to be there. I appealed to my dad that I wanted to go home."

He claimed he tried to phone his own mother before eventually going to bed despite feeling "anxious".

He said the door "burst open" and Mrs Bruce "jumped" on him before putting her hands around his neck.

The witness went on: "I just remember her shouting. I was shocked at how sudden the attack was."

The trial heard Mrs Bruce was soon pulled away, but that she still appeared "angry".

Andrew Bruce said that was the last time he visited his father on Skye.

He told the court the last occasion he saw him was the summer of 2013 when he came down to visit his family.

The witness also said that when he learned of the death in February last year, police initially told him it was "unexplained".

Brian McConnachie QC, defending, later put it to Andrew Bruce that he had been "pre-disposed" not to like the accused.

Mr McConnachie added: "She had taken your dad away?"

Andrew Bruce replied: "Yes."

The trial before Judge Lord Armstrong continues.

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