Murder accused believes in reincarnation

Janet and Garry Lockhart
Janet and Garry Lockhart
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A FATHER who killed his wife and child told a court he believed the family would be reunited if he committed suicide.

Garry Lockhart admits strangling his wife Janet before suffocating their two-year-old son Michael, but denies their murders.

He took to the stand at the High Court in Edinburgh today, where he told the jury of his belief in reincarnation.

The 33-year-old funeral director killed the pair after returning to the family home in Bonnyrigg drunk in the early hours of Saturday, December 28 last year.

Looking gaunt and pale in the witness box, Lockhart was asked by his defence solicitor Brian Gilfedder if he accepted murdering Janet and killing Michael.

He replied: “Yes” to both questions and then told the jury that his family life had been “good” and that he loved his wife and son.

The funeral director admitted that he “snapped” after a row broke out with Janet after he arrived home drunk. Mr Gilfedder asked: “Would it be fair to say if you had not drunk the amount you had taken earlier that night and got involved in a row with Janet that Janet would still be around today?”

Lockhart replied: “Yes.”

He was then asked what was going through his mind after he realised his wife was dead.

“I could not believe it had happened. I didn’t believe it was real. I sat for a while and during that time I thought of getting back with Janet,” Lockhart said.

“The first thing I thought was for Michael and getting his breakfast. It was a few minutes later I realised what had happened.”

Lockhart then told the court how he wanted to kill himself in an attempt to be reunited with his family.

He said: “Because of the way I was thinking, the only way this issue could be resolved was for Michael and I and Janet to come back together as a family unit.

“I hoped if I had a successful suicide attempt I would be with Michael and Janet.

“The thought process at the time was wrong.

“I didn’t know what sort of life I would have had, but I would still be living.”

Advocate Depute, Iain McSporran, asked Lockhart, after realising he had killed his wife, what he should have done.

He replied: “I should not have killed Michael and Michael would be here just now and be brought up by his grandparents.

“My thought process at the time was for us to be together. It is different now. I should not have killed Michael”.

McSporran then said: “You believed this even as the last breath was leaving his body. You murdered Michael as much as you murdered Janet, this was even worse because it was deliberate.”

“I don’t accept that,” replied Lockhart.

The trial before Lady Wise was adjourned until tomorrow when two psychiatrists are expected to give evidence at the High Court in Edinburgh.

newsen@edinburghnews.com