Pensioner who murdered ex-girlfriend given life sentence

Andrew Watson murdered Lise Fredette and dumped her body. Picture: JASON BAIN

Andrew Watson murdered Lise Fredette and dumped her body. Picture: JASON BAIN

A PENSIONER who murdered his ex-girlfriend and hid her body in Canada will die in prison after being handed a life sentence.

Andrew Watson, originally from Edinburgh, bludgeoned Lise Fredette to death with a shovel before putting her corpse in his car and dumping it. Her body has never been found.

Prosecutors told jurors at the Peterborough Superior Court of Justice in Ontario that Watson was a “jilted and controlling” ex-boyfriend and he had killed 74-year-old Miss Fredette as the “final act of 
harassing her”.

Watson, 79, was arrested ten days after the grandmother was last seen leaving her job at Walmart on November 12, 2014. Her glasses and keys were found next to her car at home and there was blood in her driveway.

He was found guilty by a jury last week and has now been given a life sentence with no possibility of parole for 25 years.

At the sentencing hearing on Monday, Fredette’s two children appealed directly to Watson to tell them where he had buried their mother but he refused.

Reading a victim impact statement, her daughter Nathalie Leclerc said: “If you ever loved my mom, like you said you did, the only decent thing to do would be to tell us where my mom is so we can put an end to all this.

“I hope that some day, Andy, you can find it in your heart to please tell us where my mom is.”

Fredette’s son Stéphane Leclerc added: “What happened, Andy? You told me and promised me you’d never hurt my mom.

“Be a man and do the right thing by allowing us to give our mother the respect and dignity she so rightly deserves.”

During the hearing Watson refused to wear headphones to help him hear and told his lawyer: “I’m not interested.”

After the jury found him guilty, the trial judge Justice Hugh O’Connell branded Watson the “personification of evil” for refusing to end the family’s torment.

Watson, who emigrated to Canada several years ago and worked as a government office clerk, now faces spending the rest of his life in prison when he is sentenced later this month.

The court heard Watson and Fredette met at a dance in Peterborough, where they both lived, in 2011 and dated on and off for a few years before their relationship ended for good in April 2014.

Fredette started dating another man a few months later but Watson wouldn’t leave her alone and would sit outside her home and bombard her with letters.

She contacted police about Watson’s behaviour in September 2014 and again in November 2014 just days before she went missing.

Detectives searched a number of areas using dogs, heat-seeking equipment, divers and a ground-penetrating radar but have found no trace of the mother-of-two, who was declared dead days after she went missing.

The court heard DNA testing revealed the two pools of blood in the driveway belonged to Fredette and one on the pavement was Watson’s.

newsen@edinburghnews.com