A former Aberdeen police inspector has been found guilty of murdering his wife.
Following a trial at the High Court in Glasgow, Keith Farquharson, 60, has today been found guilty of murdering his wife Alice Farquharson on Angusfield Road in Aberdeen on August 29 last year.
Farquharson now faces a life sentence after he was convicted of murder following a five-day trial at the High Court in Glasgow.
He had claimed the death was “accidental”.
Farquharson will learn the minimum he will spend behind bars next month.
The couple’s three grown-up children were in court for the verdict.
Their father showed no emotion and refused to look at them as he was lead handcuffed to the cells.
The couple had been married for 33 years – but Farquharson told jurors how he had a number of affairs.
He had flings with two women in 2018. The court heard how “sexually explicit” messages had been discovered on his phone.
In a statement released via police, Alice’s family said: ” To describe the loss of our mum, Alice, as a shock would be an understatement.
“She was an incredibly kind and caring person, with a great love for life and the people in it.
“She was always thinking of others and put everyone else before herself.
“She was not only kind and caring at home, but just as thoughtful at work as a pupil support assistant at Hazlehead Primary School.
“She was so fond of all the pupils in her care and also the staff whom she worked alongside, calling herself their ‘work mum’ and looking out for them all too.
“We miss her an incredible amount, as we know many others will.
“At times since our mum’s death and as we spoke about what lay ahead of us, we would catch ourselves and ask ‘can you believe that this has happened?’
“Our family will never be the same again and we cannot begin to describe the devastating impact this tragedy has had on us.
“We would also like to take this opportunity to thank Police Scotland’s liaison officers for their compassion and support when we needed it most, as well as every single person who has sent or posted messages of support – your love and kindness has helped us a great deal.”
On the morning of the murder, Farquharson got up to start his shift as a school bus driver having retired from the police in 2010.
As she lay in bed, Alice asked him: “Do you love me?”
Farquharson admitted he “groaned” at the question before claiming his wife slapped him.
The ex-traffic officer then insisted they had a struggle and he put his hand over Alice’s mouth to stop her screaming.
Farquharson went on: “It was as if she started to choke. I knew something was wrong. When I let go she just rolled off the bed.”
He made a panicked 999 call but medics were unable to save Alice.
She was found to have suffered “mechanical asphyxia”.
Farquharson then spun a web of lies to relatives claiming he had discovered Alice stricken in the bedroom after hearing a noise while in the shower.
Police welcomed today’s verdict.
Detective Inspector Gary Winter, of the Major Investigation Team said: “On the day of Alice’s death, Keith Farquharson deceived paramedics, police officers, his friends and – above all – his own family.
“Following scrutiny of all the circumstances, a murder enquiry was launched and Farquharson was later arrested and charged in connection with his wife’s death.
“Alice’s children have had to sit through days of harrowing evidence in court over the last week, as well as having to give evidence themselves.
“I can’t begin to imagine how difficult this has been in addition to dealing with the devastating impact this incident has had on their family.
“Although today’s verdict can’t change what happened, I hope the outcome gives them some sense of justice for their mum.
“Our thoughts remain with them, the rest of Alice’s family, her friends and her colleagues as they continue to come to terms with her tragic loss.”
Alice worked at Hazlehead Primary School whose head teacher Barbara Jones said: “Alice had worked at Hazlehead Primary for 17 years and as a result was a very well-known face in the school community who was loved by all. She almost had a role of being the school Mum to all staff.
“Alice always recognized the little things, she had a way of making people feel special through a kind word, gift or gesture.
” Alice was instrumental in the development of the school grounds as a place of comfort and sanctuary for more vulnerable children.
“She recognized the positive impact of outdoor spaces on the wellbeing of children and worked hard to make sure that all children, even those who were at times hard to reach, were fully included in developing school spaces.
“Alice championed pupil participation and pupil voice, she gave a voice to those who could find it hard to contribute.
“Alice had a love of literacy and the power of story and was an avid reader.
“This love saw her establish and develop the school library including supporting children to act as librarians, running story telling sessions and taking the library outdoors when the weather was kind.
“Of late Alice became a validated seasons for growth companion and very supportive of the emotional wellbeing of the children.
“This led to her spending her own time making application for funding to develop the school grounds further, an area the school community will take forward in her memory.”