Wednesday, December 26, 2007

More Xmas Cheer!

Good God, there must be a connection between golf, Christmas and murders!

Mother beat five-year-old son to death at Christmas

A WOMAN pleaded guilty yesterday to bludgeoning her five-year-old son to death with a golf club on Christmas Day before jumping 30ft from the window of her flat.

The High Court in Glasgow was told that on the day of the tragedy, Alison Gorrie, 36, begged ambulance crews not to treat her as she lay seriously injured in the cobbled courtyard in Leith, Edinburgh, outside her home. “I’ve done something terrible. Don’t treat me, I want to die,” she told them.

Upstairs, her son Brendan lay dead under the duvet in his bedroom. He had been hit at least six times and died of head injuries.

Gorrie, who attended court in a wheelchair, was originally charged with murder but pleaded guilty yesterday to the lesser charge of the culpable homicide. The plea was reduced due to diminished responsibility resulting from mental illness.

Paul McBride, QC, for the defence, told the judge, Lord Macfadyen, that the case was “one of the saddest and most tragic” to come before the court, heightened because it happened on Christmas Day.

The court was told that Gorrie and her son had spent Christmas Eve with her estranged husband, Bruce Gorrie. Hours before the killing she was wrapping Christmas presents. During the night, however, she rang a doctor because she felt suicidal. The doctor visited in the early hours and an ambulance was called to take her to hospital. For some reason she decided not to go, however, and turned the ambulance away.

Her friend, Jacqueline Sloan, 27, who had already arrived to look after Brendan, went to sleep in the sitting room at around 4.45am. Miss Sloan woke at 7am and at 7.30am she heard a “metallic banging noise” and thought that Brendan was playing with one of his toys. An hour later a neighbour found Gorrie lying injured in the courtyard. The police arrived to find Brendan dead in his room.

Friends said Gorrie was a devoted mother who was never heard to raise her voice to her son. She met her husband at school in Hamilton and went on to study philosophy and psychology at Edinburgh University, while he went to Oxford to study literature. They lived in Oxford for a time before returning to Scotland.

A year before the tragedy, and before the marriage broke up, she left a note on the Friends Reunited website in which she suggested a happy marriage. “We have a son, Brendan, who has just turned five. He is the best thing that has ever happened to me,” she wrote.

Yesterday the court was told that she was still receiving psychiatric treatment. Sentence was deferred until August 14 at the High Court in Edinburgh for more medical reports.