Retired policeman recalls night of partner’s death

Norman Busby told the court how he was stabbed. Picture: Mike Gibbons
Norman Busby told the court how he was stabbed. Picture: Mike Gibbons
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AN 86-year-old retired police sergeant yesterday relived in court the night that his partner of 30 years was stabbed to death by an intruder.

Norman Busby told a murder trial that he was stabbed three times in the chest when he opened the front door of his Crookston home in Glasgow after hearing knocking.

Mr Busby told advocate dep­ute Bruce Erroch, prosecuting, that he opened the door slightly and saw a young man who barged his way into the house.

The pensioner told the High Court in Glasgow: “He said ‘have you got your car keys, have you got your f***ing car keys’.

“I said ‘what’s wrong, have you bumped my car’. I then said I didn’t give my car keys to anyone and turned to shut the door.

“He pushed the door hard, bashing it, and I staggered back. He had a knife in each hand. He immediately stabbed me several times in my chest.”

Mr Busby was giving evidence at the trial of Paul McManus, 22, who denies murdering Isabelle Sanders, 51, and attempting to murder Mr Busby on 9 April.

The former policeman said he collapsed and tried to reach for the telephone, which was on a small table, but was unable to get to it.


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At this point, Ms Sanders, who had been in bed, came to the top of the stairs and saw Mr Busby on the floor in the living room.

Mr Busby said: “Isabelle screamed and ran down the stairs and she saw him standing there. I was lying on the floor covered in blood. She saw him stealing stuff and she tried to push him out the front door and he had his knives and he stabbed her several times.

“She fell to the ground, covered in blood. I reached out but she was dead. I have an alarm button and I managed to press it.

“A voice said ‘what is it’ and I said ‘there’s been a murder, I need police and an ambulance’. As soon as he heard that, he grabbed stuff and ran out the door.”

Mr Busby described the knife blows to Isabelle as “vicious”, and he demonstrated how the intruder, who had a knife in both hands, stabbed her. He said that he was unable to describe the intruder other than he thought he was in his twenties.

The jury heard that Ms Sanders worked in the Bank of Scotland. She and Mr Busby met in the bank and set up home tog­ether. Mr Busby worked there for about five years after retiring from the police.

Ms Sanders was involved in church work, including serving in a cafe at an old folk’s home, and was a member of a handbell-ringing group.

Mr Erroch asked Mr Busby: “Where were you when Isabelle was being stabbed?” and he said: “I was still on the floor.”

After the incident, Mr Busby was taken to the Southern General Hospital, Glasgow. When asked how long he spent in hospital, Mr Busby said: “Three or four weeks.”

Mr Busby was asked if this had been a very traumatic incident and replied: “Very much so.”

He went on: “This was personal. I dealt with a lot of things in the police, dead bodies and so on, but this was a personal thing and very traumatic.”

Defence QC Gordon Jackson asked Mr Busby if there could have been two intruders and he replied: “No, I’m pretty sure it was just the one man, but I can’t be 100 per cent.”

The trial continues.


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