Woman found mother lying ‘in pool of blood’ in Stonehouse, Lanarkshire

Kathleen Milward
Kathleen Milward
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A WOMAN broke down as she told a murder trial yesterday how she found the body of her mother lying “black and blue” and “cold as marble” in a pool of blood on her kitchen floor – and her nephew “shaking” in the living room.

Maureen Kennedy, 58, said she had gone to the bungalow in Stonehouse, Lanarkshire, where her mother Kathleen Milward, 87, lived alone with her grandson Garry Kane after getting a phone call from her sister, Garry’s mother Kathleen Kane.

She said her sister had “seemed very distressed” and she and her husband Ian left their home, five minutes away, and drove straight over.

She said when she reached the bungalow she “ran across the front grass” and tried to open the door, but it was locked.

“Garry answered the door,” she said. “He was in a state. When he came to the door he had both hands at his chest with a phone in one hand.

“I rushed in and asked what had happened. Garry walked backwards down the hall into the living room and remained with his hands at his chest.”

Mrs Kennedy gave her evidence from behind a screen, shielding her from the dock where her nephew sat, and from the public benches.

A recording was played to the court of a 999 call made by Garry Kane. His voice shaking and apparently in clear distress he is heard telling the operator: “I have just come in and my gran was lying there and I don’t know what’s happened to her. She’s 87.”

Mrs said: “My husband was with me, and Garry was sitting on the arm of the couch [in the living room] still shaking and very distressed.”

Breaking down in tears, Mrs Kennedy, a customer services officer with South Lanarkshire Council, told jurors at the High Court in Dumbarton: “I said ‘what’s happened, where’s gran, where’s gran?’ “Garry said ‘it’s terrible, Auntie Maureen, don’t go in’.”

She added: “I opened the door and looked and saw my mother lying on the floor. My mother was lying on her back with her arms out and her palms facing up.

“Her legs were straight in front of her. She was lying almost looking up with her eyes slightly open. There was a pool of blood beside her hand, her ring finger.

“I knew instantly she was dead. I knew I had to see if there was a pulse, but I knew there would not be. I knelt down by her shoulder and tried for a pulse. I got a shock. I didn’t expect her to be as cold as marble. That was a big shock.”

Asked if the house was cold, she replied that her mother’s house was the opposite – it was “like a greenhouse”.

She had spoken to her mother a few hours earlier. “I said how are you, and she started to say how she was really fed-up with Garry and his behaviour. She said she had told him she wasn’t giving him any more money. She had a wee rant about it and she said her hand was never out of her pocket.”

Jennifer Bain, the advocate depute, asked: “What did she say about his behaviour?”

Mrs Kennedy replied “She mentioned the fact that he was shouting at her and using the f-word, and she said she didn’t like that word – she didn’t use it. She said it upset her very much.”

Kane, 41, denies murdering Mrs Milward at her home in Stonehouse, on 3 January.

The trial before Lord Matthews continues.