Daughter's horror at finding killer father after failed murder suicide

A DAUGHTER rushed to her parents' home after hearing they had been found dead on their blood-spattered bed, a court was told yesterday.

Joanne Greenhill arrived to see her mother and father lying motionless, their heads together, with a knife nearby. But there was an even greater shock when her father's eyes opened and she realised he was still breathing.

Joseph Richardson, 61, had murdered Janette, 57, his wife of 35 years after suspecting that she had started to see another man, then turned the knife on himself in an attempted suicide.

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The High Court in Edinburgh was told Richardson phoned the other man after the killing and said: "You are going to feel like I feel in a couple of hours' time." He left a note, stating: "He will never get my wife…"

Richardson, a joiner, admitted murdering his wife, a part-time nurse in a residential home, on 27 November last year at their home in Stoneybank Drive, Musselburgh, East Lothian by beating her about the head with an ornament, and then stabbing her and slitting her throat with one of his fishing knives. He will be sentenced later.

Advocate-depute Joanna Cherry, QC, said the couple, who had four children, were having "significant marital problems". Mrs Richardson was unhappy and wanted a separation. She was in contact with Graham Walker, an old friend from her youth who stayed in England.

"The accused found this state of affairs extremely distressing and blamed this man for the marriage break-up. He became deeply concerned with the fact that she might be about to embark upon a new relationship," said Ms Cherry.

At about 8:30am on 27 November, Richardson made his telephone call to Mr Walker. Mr Walker then called Ms Greenhill, 33, who lived nearby, and her husband went to the house.

He went into the bedroom and saw Mrs Richardson lying on her back with her legs over the side of the bed. Richardson was lying on his side. Their heads were together, and a towel covered Mrs Richardson's head and half of the accused's face.

"There was blood on the pillow. He raised the alarm and went to fetch his wife. When she arrived, she found the same scene as her husband.

"She then saw the accused open his eyes and noted he was breathing. She was extremely distressed by what she saw," said Ms Cherry.

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Richardson had injuries to his chest and neck, but recovered in hospital.

His wife had sustained multiple injuries, the most severe of which, to the left of the neck, severed the jugular vein and carotid artery. Richardson told police he had confronted his wife, and when she got up to walk away, he had suddenly attacked her.

Police found notes which Richardson had described as a "day-to-day diary of events".

He had written: "I did not want to do this…

"I loved my wife and children very much… she has given me a lot of mental tortcher (sic]… made my stomick (sic] turn… he will never get my wife or my four children."