NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Wife murder accused had sexually explicit messages on phone

Alice Farquharson Image copyright POLICE SCOTLAND
Image caption Alice Farquharson died last year

A former police officer accused of killing his wife had "sexually explicit" messages from another woman on his phone.

The Apple iPhone was seized from Keith Farquharson during the investigation into the death of his wife Alice, 56, in their Aberdeen home last August.

An analyst who examined the mobile said the texts were "suggestive" in tone.

The High Court in Glasgow heard there appeared to be contact between Mr Farquharson, 60, and the woman in 2018.

Jurors heard that a phone belonging to Mrs Farquharson was also checked and searches for house buying in Shetland were made the night before she died last August.

Police Scotland cyber crime analyst Ewan Stewart helped examine the phones taken from the couple.

'Lewd messages'

Prosecutor Alex Prentice QC asked the witness: "Would it be right to say there followed a number of texts to and from the device used by the woman?

"These are extremely sexually explicit messages?"

Mr Stewart replied: "Yes, that would be my interpretation."

The witness also agreed with Mr Prentice's assessment that the messages with the unnamed woman were "quite specific about sexual activity".

The advocate then asked if the "exchanges continue in a similar fashion...lewd messages".

Mr Stewart replied that they were "suggestive."

Image caption Alice Farquharson died at the couple's home in Augusfield Avenue

No detail of what the messages contained was read out in court.

The trial was told that Mrs Farqhuarson's phone was also examined during the investigation.

A number of internet searches were made on the handset the night before she was allegedly murdered.

This included "bidding for a house in Shetland" and "houses to bid for Shetland".

'Pressing her neck'

The court later heard how Dr Leigh-anne Deboys helped carry out a post-mortem examination on the body.

She was found to have suffered "mechanical asphyxia".

Mr Prentice asked the pathologist what that was.

She replied: "For some reason, she has been prevented from breathing oxygen as usual.

"Something from the outside has been pressing her neck."

Among other marks to the body, Dr Deboys' report detailed there were bruises on Mrs Farqhuarson's cheek.

She said this suggested "blunt force trauma" and could be explained "by compression or gripping".

Final witness

The court also heard of "an unexpected finding" of two cashew nuts at the back of Mrs Farqhuarson's mouth.

But the pathologist said they had not contributed to any choking.

Mr Prentice told jurors Dr Deboys was the final prosecution witness in the case.

The murder charge alleges that Mr Farquharson seized hold of his wife and struggled with her before compressing her neck and face.

It is further claimed that he left her unconscious after "restricting her breathing" by covering her nose and mouth.

He is then said to have caused blunt force injury "by means unknown".

The trial, before Lady Stacey, continues.

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