West Lothian dad whose son was cleared of murdering his own sister walks free from court

A man whose son was cleared of murdering his daughter walked free from court himself after prosecutors dropped domestic abuse allegations against him.

Tuesday, 8th June 2021, 4:55 am
Updated Tuesday, 8th June 2021, 8:42 am

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Gordon Johnstone’s was charged following the unrelated murder of his 22-year-old daughter Annalise at a monument to a woman persecuted as a witch three years ago. His son Jordon, 26, was accused and later acquitted of murdering her.

The traumatised dad from Uphall, West Lothian, had been due to stand trial at Livingston Sheriff Court charged with pursuing an abusive course of conduct against his ex-partner Mariam Hussein in 2019.

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Jordon Johnstone was cleared of murdering his own sister

The charge accused him of calling Ms Hussein abusive names, shouting racist remarks at her, accusing her of cheating on him and blaming her for his dog escaping.

The charge also alleged that he grabbed her by the hair, pulled her to the ground, repeatedly struck her on the body with a mop to her injury and pulled out clumps of her hair.

He was also accused of assaulting Ms Hussein to her injury at their then home in Fauldhouse, West Lothian, in 2013 by pushing her to the ground while she was pregnant causing her to land on her stomach.

However, neither Ms Hussein nor his son Jordon – who allegedly called the police to have his dad arrested – appeared at court to give evidence against him as witnesses for the prosecution.

Tragic Annelise Johnstone and her father, Gordon

Johnstone, who has had the charges hanging over him since he first appeared from custody in December 2019, was told that in the circumstances the Crown was dropping the case against him.

Tragic Annalise died after her throat was repeatedly slit at a stone cross commemorating local witch Maggie Wall in Dunning, Perthshire. Hillwalkers discovered her body lying face-down in grass behind a drystane dyke two miles away.

Jordon Johnstone’s murder trial heard evidence that the motive for murdering Annalise, a member of Scotland’s Traveller community, could have been retribution for her being openly gay.

Johnstone and co-accused Angela Newlands, also a Traveller, were put on trial in 2019 accused of murder, but after days of evidence at the High Court in Livingston, Newlands was found not guilty.

The trial continued for Johnstone, who blamed Newlands for the killing and claimed she had threatened to accuse him of abusing her daughter if he blamed her for his sister’s death.

He told the jury his sister had died in his arms and he had carried her for two miles before putting her behind the wall so she could be found and given a proper burial.

After 14 days of graphic and often conflicting evidence, Jordon Johnstone was freed from prison, where he served the equivalent of a two year sentence on remand, after the jury found the murder charge against him not proven.

A new police investigation into the killing was mounted after Johnstone revealed in evidence that he had buried the murder weapon – an "expandable box cutter" – along with his sister's glasses and mobile phone. However, the items were never found.

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