Paranoid lecturer stabbed wife to death over paternity doubts

A lecturer brutally stabbed his wife to death after wrongly believing he was not the father of their children.

Kerr faced a murder allegation at the High Court in Glasgow. Picture: John Devlin
Kerr faced a murder allegation at the High Court in Glasgow. Picture: John Devlin

Robert Kerr attacked Xin Xin Liu, 39, at their home in Newton Mearns, East Renfrewshire.

He struck as his two sons slept upstairs and went on to make himself a hot drink while Ms Liu lay dead.

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A judge heard how the mother suffered more than 70 wounds during the killing in April this year.

Kerr, also 39, yesterday faced a murder allegation at the High Court in Glasgow, but prosecutors instead accepted his guilty plea to the reduced charge of culpable homicide on the grounds of his diminished responsibility.

It has been concluded Kerr was suffering from “an abnormality of the mind” at the time of the fatal attack.

The first offender will return to court for sentencing in November.

Ms Liu had moved to Scotland from China 15 years ago to study law at Aberdeen University. It was there she met Kerr, who was doing a computer course. They went on to get married in 2003.

Kerr was latterly a lecturer at West College Scotland in Paisley while his wife was training to be a translator.

In April this year, Kerr had contacted his GP complaining of stress in respect of “work and personal issues”. He said he was suffering from anxiety, insomnia and spoke about “paranoid feelings”.

Just four days before the attack, Kerr told a nurse he had been feeling much better and was sounding “chirpier”.

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It changed on 26 April when Kerr fatally attacked his wife as their children slept. Just before midnight, he dialled 999 and said: “I have just killed my wife. I murdered her in a stabbing frenzy.”

He went on to state there was “blood all over the place”.

Police discovered Ms Liu lying on the kitchen floor with a knife still in her body.

After being held, Kerr told officers: “I found out tonight they were not mine.”

Prosecutor Jane Farquharson said he had “suspicions” that a friend was the father of his children.

But Miss Farquharson told the court: “A paternity test recently carried out has since confirmed Robert Kerr is the biological father.”

A number of bloodstained items were found at the couple’s house including a milk carton.

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The advocate depute said: “Kerr has since admitted that he had made himself a hot drink after this incident.”

A post-mortem later revealed Ms Liu had suffered approximately 76 wounds.