Tayside and Central Scotland

Man put disabled woman's severed hand in freezer

Stephen Brisbane Image copyright Police Scotland
Image caption Stephen Brisbane will be sentenced in June

A man cut off a disabled woman's hand before putting it in a plastic bag and leaving it in his mother's freezer, a court was told.

Stephen Brisbane left Sandra McGowan unconscious on the floor of her Dundee home following the attack in February 2018.

Ms McGowan, 64, had let Brisbane into her home with a remote-controlled key fob, believing he was her carer.

Brisbane, 34, will be sentenced in June after admitting the offence.

The High Court in Glasgow was told Ms McGowan was in a wheelchair after suffering a stroke 14 years ago.

Prosecutor Richard Goddard said: "The accused walked up, gave her a cuddle, told her his name was Stephen and offered to make her a cup of tea."

After briefly leaving the flat, Brisbane returned and took a knife from the kitchen.

Brisbane grabbed Ms McGowan, who fell from her wheelchair following a brief struggle.

Unsuccessful operation

Mr Goddard said that Brisbane then seized her right wrist.

He said: "She saw he had a knife in his hand. He then started to cut her right wrist and she lost consciousness.

"Around two hours later she regained consciousness and saw her right hand was gone."

The court heard that Brisbane's sister discovered the severed hand in her mother's freezer and called the police.

The court was told that a seven-hour operation to reattach the hand was unsuccessful.

Mr Goddard said Ms McGowan previously enjoyed an independent life, but was now in a care home requiring 24-hour assistance.

Defence QC Mark Stewart said Brisbane had expressed "deep sorrow and remorse" for his actions.

Mr Stewart said: "He thought he was suffering from a serious illness and said he had been advised by Barack Obama to take crystal meth.

"He had been told it was the cure for his illness and could be extracted from the bones of human beings."

Judge Johanna Johnston deferred sentence on Brisbane for a risk assessment.

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