Pensioner tried to kill partner with hammer, court told

The High Court in Glasgow. File picture: John Devlin
The High Court in Glasgow. File picture: John Devlin
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A PENSIONER tried to kill his partner after believing she was having an affair, a court has been told.

Alexander Brown, 73, attacked Elizabeth Tainsh with a hammer and tried to smother her with a pillow as she lay in bed.

The terrified 57-year-old’s ordeal at their Ferry Road flat only ended when she managed to break free.

Brown was later found by police sitting in his car on the Forth Road Bridge.

He went on to tell officers: “I’ll be getting a sentence”.

The details emerged as the OAP admitted to an attempted murder charge at the High Court in Glasgow.

He is set to face a lengthy jail-term when he returns to the dock next month.

The court heard the couple had been together nine years.

Retired painter Brown was described as having a “comfortable” life at their home in Ferry Road.

But prosecutor Allan Nicol told how the pensioner attacked Miss Tainsh in the early hours of last July 6.

They had earlier enjoyed dinner together before Miss Tainsh went to bed leaving Brown watching TV.

However, around 1.30am, the mum was suddenly awoken by a blow to her head.

She was then struck again before realising Brown was standing at the bedside.

Mr Nicol told the court: “He picked up a pillow and placed it over her face covering her mouth and nose.

“He then pushed down on the pillow applying a significant amount of pressure.

“This restricted her breathing to the point where she thought she was suffocating.”

Miss Tainsh managed to fight back and push the pillow off, but Brown soon smothered her again.

The woman struggled to break free, but was eventually able to roll away.

Miss Tainsh then spotted her partner was clutching a hammer. She pleaded with Brown to hand it over and he did so.

Mr Nicol said: “She asked why he had assaulted her...he said it was because she had been having an affair.

“She told him that was not the case and his demeanour changed and he appeared confused.”

Brown apologised before soon leaving the flat. A bloodied and distressed Miss Tainsh meantime called police.

She told officers she had been smacked with a hammer and that her partner had tried to “suffocate” her.

Brown was eventually traced sitting in his car parked on the Forth Road Bridge.

He claimed he “no longer wished to be here” and had considering taking his own life.

After later being arrested for attempted murder, he said: “I’ll be getting a sentence.”

The court heard a writing pad belonging to Brown was later found to have a note in it stating: “We will be in heaven together”.

His partner needed hospital treatment for a number of injuries.

Her face was badly swollen and it was initially feared she had fractured her nose.

Miss Tainsh also had bruising and cuts to her head.

Mr Nicol said she has been “greatly affected” by her ordeal. Miss Tainsh was in court to see Brown admit his guilt.

The advocate depute added: “She remains very apprehensive of the accused.”

The court was told Brown himself had been found to be suffering from a number of symptoms including low mood and “paranoid ideas”.

He was also reported to have stopped taking medication.

But, one doctor said he did not believe Brown was “lacking criminal responsibility” at the time and could appreciate the “wrongfulness of the conduct”.

Judge Lord Boyd deferred sentencing until February 22 in Edinburgh.