Evil and deceiving: daughter's condemnation of her own father after axe-killing of mother

A MAN who killed his wife in a frenzied axe attack was branded "evil and deceiving" by his daughter yesterday as he was sent to a state hospital indefinitely.

Retired midwife Ann Geddes, 63, was found dead at the Angus home she shared with her husband on 7 February. Roger Geddes, 61, battered her to death before impersonating her in a phone call.

The retired civil servant was originally accused of murder, but the Crown Office accepted his guilty plea to the reduced charge of culpable homicide on the grounds of diminished responsibility. The decision prompted fury from the victim's family, who claimed Geddes "got away with murder".

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At the High Court in Edinburgh, Lord Doherty made Geddes the subject of a compulsion order and a restriction order without limit of time. The move means he will remain at the State Hospital in Carstairs until authorities decide he can be released.

The couple's daughter, Angela Geddes, 31, said she could not bear to look at her father in court yesterday: "When he came in, I covered my face because I didn't want to see him and I didn't want him to see me. He knew I was there, but I don't even want to look at him."

Miss Geddes said she believed her father was convicted of the wrong crime.

Speaking outside court on behalf of the family, she added: "We believe this was a murder following years of domestic abuse by a controlling and violent man who was never going to let his wife leave him. However, we are reassured he will not be released for some time.

"Nothing can ever compensate for our loss and the ordeal that we have gone through. We are pleased this part of the criminal process is over and we can concentrate more on our precious memories of Ann."

Describing her mother as "kind, caring, fun" and "highly regarded" in her work, Miss Geddes said: "We have lost our mum, our daughter, our sister, our aunt, our friend because of the unnecessary actions of this evil and deceiving man. This sentence provides some closure with which we can begin to rebuild our shattered lives."

Miss Geddes also said the family home was cleared without her permission and relatives were left to deal with the bloodstained floorboards.

She said: "My father sold the house without asking and then refused to pay for bloodstained floorboards to be replaced.As a family, we were left to deal with moving the bloodstained floorboards ourselves to protect the dignity of my mum."

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The couple, who were married for 35 years, moved to Carnoustie after Mrs Geddes retired from her role in midwifery management in Leeds six years ago.

The court previously heard Geddes admit he tied a dressing-gown belt around his wife's wrists and repeatedly hit her with an axe.

Police went to the home in Panbride Road after he told his daughter over the phone: "She's in the bedroom. She's dead. I've killed her. We had an argument. I'm sorry. I've called the police."

The exchange followed a series of calls between the two during the day. During one conversation, Geddes attempted to impersonate the victim. He then claimed his wife was in hospital.

Geddes told police: "I flew off the handle. I hit her with a hammer axe thing. I hit her with it on the head quite a lot of times, I lost control."

Lord Doherty said he was "satisfied" it was appropriate to make the two orders after hearing evidence from a consultant forensic psychiatrist.

Dr William Black, from the state hospital, found Geddes suffers from a mental disorder which can be treated with medication and "psycho-social treatment".