Wife who beat husband to death jailed for 15 years

A WIFE who beat her husband to death has been jailed for life.

Sandra Bruce beat her husband to death over cigarettes. Picture: John Devlin

Five-foot Sandra Bruce kicked, stamped and jumped on Norman Bruce at their home on the Isle of Skye in February last year.

The 64-year-old former paramedic never recovered having suffered a host of injuries including 20 rib fractures.

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Bruce, 61, told a jury at the High Court in Glasgow yesterday that she could not remember the brutal attack.

But the trial heard that after the killing, she complained of her husband hiding a packet of cigarettes that night.

She was also said to have smirked when later shown photos of his dead body.

Bruce was jailed for a minimum of 15 years after being convicted of murder.

Judge Lord Armstrong told her: “There are no reasons which could possibly justify the taking of another’s life.”

Bruce, latterly of Kilbarchan, Renfrewshire, showed no emotion as she was lead handcuffed to the cells.

The murder happened at the couple’s home on the Breakish area of Skye. They had moved there in the 1990s after Mr Bruce left his then-wife.

Prosecutors stated Mr Bruce was scratched before being kicked, stamped and jumped on.

It was said his raging wife also inflicted “blunt force injuries” to his head and body.

Ambulance technician Andrew Alexander told the trial how he attended at the house in February last year.

He said Bruce appeared “agitated” and “slightly unsteady on her feet”.

Mr Alexander then added: “She stated that Norman was dead and that there was no need for the defibrillator.

“She took hold of me – she did not let go for a period of time.”

Mr Alexander and a colleague found Mr Bruce’s body in the house, but it was clear he had already died.

Mr Alexander recalled Bruce being on the phone after the killing. He told the jury: “She stated ‘the b****** put a packet of cigarettes under my pillow’ or ‘the b****** hid a packet of cigarettes under my pillow’.”

The court heard Mr Bruce, who was a foot taller than his wife, suffered multiple facial injuries, 20 rib fractures and extensive bruising.

When later quizzed by police, Bruce was said have been “smirking” as she was shown images of her husband’s corpse.

Bruce gave evidence during the trial and insisted she had tried “thousands of times” to remember what happened that evening.

She also claimed to have been the victim of domestic violence.

Bruce was quizzed about her making the cigarette comment, but again said she could not recall it.

However, she told the jury both her and her husband had previously tried giving up smoking. Bruce went on: “He had failed and wanted me to start smoking again.”

The former secretary later told the jury that she did not accept murdering her husband and that she “never meant to harm him”.