Tayside and Central Scotland

Father admits killing 10-year-old son Kane Morris in Coupar Angus

Andrew Morris Image copyright Perthshire Picture Agency
Image caption Andrew Morris admitted killing his 10-year-old son and attempting to murder an eight-year-old girl

A man has admitted killing his 10-year-old son at a house in Coupar Angus.

Andrew Morris, 38, stabbed himself and jumped from the roof of the house after killing Kane Morris.

Kane's body was found at a house in Union Street in the Perth and Kinross town last November.

Morris admitted the culpable homicide of his son and a further charge of attempting to murder an eight-year-old girl.

The stabbings took place in the early hours of 11 November last year.

Morris was originally charged with murdering his son Kane, a pupil at Coupar Angus primary school, but prosecutor Alex Prentice QC accepted a reduced plea to culpable homicide on the basis of diminished responsibility.

He is currently detained in State Hospital at Carstairs and will be sentenced on 12 August.

When questioned by detectives Morris told them: 'I was taking them to a better place away from evil."

Later he said: "I've done a horrible thing."

Image copyright Police Scotland/BBC
Image caption Kane Morris's body was found at a house in Coupar Angus last November

Mr Prentice told the court Kane was stabbed six times - once in the chest and five times in the back.

Despite his injuries, Kane went towards the young girl's bedroom to try to help her before collapsing.

Judge Lord Mulholland told Morris: "You pleaded guilty to horrific actions."

He added: "It seems to me that Kane showed incredible bravery and self sacrifice rather than thinking of himself. His concern was for the eight-year-old girl. For a 10-year-old boy to do that shows incredible bravery."

Lord Mulholland went on: "The eight-year-old girl showed incredible bravery as well."

Mr Prentice said: "In the course of a meeting with psychiatrists the accused stated that he acted to protect himself and his family from some impending, but otherwise unspecified, mortal danger."

'Cackling on the phone'

Morris, who was in the Army for five years, worked as a farm hand in the family business.

The court heard friends visited Morris and left him watching football and drinking a cup of tea shortly after midnight on 11 November.

At about 01:52, Morris' niece Iona McPherson made a one-minute drunken call to him and put the phone on loudspeaker.

Mr Prentice told the court: "In the minutes that followed, the accused killed his 10-year-old son, caused near fatal injuries to an eight-year-old girl and then stabbed himself before jumping out a third floor window.

"The accused claims to have no memory of killing one child and attempting to murder another.

"However, he said he thought he heard his niece Iona cackling on the phone and said subsequent events were blurry.

The court heard that paramedics rushed to treat Morris as he lay injured in the street and he told them he had stabbed two children.

Image caption Floral tributes were laid at the scene of the incident

Efforts to get to the children were hampered because Morris had barricaded the front door.

When they got in they found the girl who had stab wounds to her abdomen and limbs.

Kane was lying collapsed outside the bedroom she had been sleeping in. He died at 03:24.

The girl suffered a collapsed lung and spent four weeks in hospital.

'Deeply loved by all'

Morris had five stab wounds, a fractured left femur, a fracture of his pelvis and rib injuries which were all self-inflicted.

The court heard that Morris was struggling to cope following the death of his step-father in an industrial accident on the farm in May 2018.

Members of Kane's family sitting in the public gallery of the court sobbed and Morris was also crying in the dock as the facts were read out.

A family statement issued after Kane's death said he was a "popular young boy" who was "full of energy and deeply loved by all".

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