Man who tried to murder sick wife may be spared jail

AN ELDERLY man who attempted to murder his wife may yet escape a jail sentence.

John Millar, 67, used a pillow to try to smother Phyllis Millar, 65, who suffers from multiple sclerosis, but she managed to fight him off.

He suggested to police that he had wanted to end her suffering and that he would have taken his own life if he had succeeded. However, Mrs Millar insisted to detectives that she had never said she wanted to die and that she had made it clear to her husband that she was content with her life.

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In spite of what had happened, she wanted the marriage to continue, she added.

Millar admitted attempting to murder his wife at their home in Ravelston Gardens, Edinburgh, on 28 June last year.

Yesterday, Lady Smith said at the High Court in Edinburgh that it would be very unusual for a non-custodial sentence to be imposed for such a crime.

However she said she would look at options other than a jail term. Millar's defence agent told the court that Millar had provided round-the-clock care for his wife, and they had rejected offers of outside help.

Millar had given no explanation for the offence but he may have "cracked" under the strain and was too proud to admit it.