Husband who stabbed wife 36 times is cleared of her murder
A FATHER-of-two who stabbed his wife 36 times has been found not guilty of murdering her after a jury ruled he was insane at the time.
The High Court in Glasgow heard that 46-year-old Neil Cumming was suffering from a persistent delusional disorder and believed his bank worker wife Jane was poisoning him.
Yesterday, after a trial which lasted less than an hour, a jury found Cumming not guilty by reason of insanity.
Temporary judge Norman Ritchie, QC, ordered him to be detained at the state hospital at Carstairs without limit of time to protect the public.
The case was the final time a jury will sit in judgment where the accused is deemed to be insane. Legislation came into effect yesterday meaning that a judge or a sheriff can now determine if an accused is acquitted by reason of insanity.
Advocate depute Alex Prentice, prosecuting, told the court that after Cumming, a quality control worker at Michelin, Dundee, carried out the frenzied attack on his wife he drove off and crashed his car into the back of a lorry at 101mph.
The killing took place at the family home at Longforgan, Tayside, on the morning of 15 July, 2011.
About 11:28, a call lasting one second was received from the family landline to the secretary at Ancrum Medical Centre, Dundee.
The secretary phoned Mrs Cumming’s mobile phone and spoke to Cumming, who said: “I have committed a terrible crime.”
He added that his medication had been tampered with and was fake. An appointment was made for him later that day.
Minutes later, he again phoned the centre, saying his tablets were not working and he had taken hundreds of them.
Shortly afterwards, he was seen steering his Volkswagen Passat out of the driveway of his home.
Cumming drove erratically through traffic before ploughing into the rear of a lorry on the A9 Perth-to-Dundee road.
At the time, he had unquantified levels of ketamine, diazepam, paracetamol and ibuprofen in his system.
Police went to the family home where they found Mrs Cumming’s body.
A 13-page bloodstained letter from Cumming, which was a confession and suicide note, was found on the kitchen table.
Defence QC John Hamilton said: “Mr Cumming loved his wife dearly and still can’t understand the events that led to him harming her. That was the very last thing he ever wanted to do.
“His wife was his greatest support. There are two daughters aged 13 and 12 and he hasn’t seen them since July last year.
“He doesn’t know if he will ever see them again. He is really sorry for what he had done. He hopes that in due course his daughters will understand he was ill when he did what he did.”
Professor Lindsay Thomson, a consultant forensic psychiatrist and medical director of the state hospital, told the court that Cumming was suffering from a persistent delusional disorder.
She told the court that this took the form of believing he was being poisoned, being interfered with by Masons and that people were plotting to make him lose his job.
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Saturday 18 May 2013
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