Wife barred from dead man’s home

Michelle Bathgate. Picture: contributed
Michelle Bathgate. Picture: contributed
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THE widow of a joiner found dead with a stab wound to the neck was banned from the remote cottage where his body was discovered.

Michelle Bathgate – who has denied being hubby Brian’s killer – was subject to a bail order prohibiting her from entering Barney Mains Farm, near Haddington, where he lived.

Brian Bathgate. Picture: contributed

Brian Bathgate. Picture: contributed

She was arrested for going to the farm less than four months before Mr Bathgate was found dead, violating bail conditions that had been attached to a range of charges which saw her in court yesterday.

She appeared for sentencing at Haddington Sheriff Court on her 43rd birthday to admit a string of offences including assaulting police.

The development follows an exclusive denial she made – via the Evening News – stating she had nothing to do with the 45-year-old’s death.

He was found dead in the blood-splattered living room of his cottage on March 15 last year with a knife wound to the neck.

His wife was the last person to see him alive two days earlier.

Police previously said they were following a “positive line of inquiry” over the death, which was being treated as “suspicious”.

Yesterday’s court hearing heard how she had been hit with an ASBO for terrorising neighbours in Haddington.

She also admitted being abusive and kicking a police officer at the ERI; acting in a threatening manner in Market Street, Haddington, and breaching the order meant to stop her going near her husband’s cottage.

Bizarrely the charges also revealed her husband was her co-accused in one case before his grim death.

On February 1, 2012, Mr Bathgate was accused of shouting and swearing and committing a breach of the peace at Kippithill, Humbie, East Lothian, where he then lived with his wife. He was also accused of struggling with two police officers. Neighbours claim the couple had a volatile relationship.

During yesterday’s hearing, her solicitor Angela Craig said Bathgate was a “chronic alcoholic” and “still suffering greatly” from the death of her husband.

Sheriff Braid deferred sentencing until April 23 for a psychiatric report but said “all options” – including a jail sentence – “remained open”.

Speaking to the Evening News in January, Bathgate said she was convinced her husband was murdered, but “can’t think” who could have killed the father of her four children as he had “no ­enemies”.