A grandmother who murdered a “generous” pensioner and then tried to “blag” her way into gaining access to the man’s finances has been jailed for life.
Sharyn Stewart, 53, killed Alan Cowie, 65, by knocking him to the ground and placing her her two feet on his neck causing him to stop breathing.
The High Court in Edinburgh heard how Stewart attacked Mr Cowie following a confrontation in Alexander Terrace, Aberdeen, on January 2 2018.
The court heard how Stewart occasionally lived with Mr Cowie at his property in Aberdeen.
Jurors heard how the pair had a “confusing relationship”. Mr Cowie regarded Stewart as being his partner whilst they were just friends.
In the months before his death, Mr Cowie inherited £86,000 from a relative. But after Mr Cowie died, Stewart tried to get her hands on his money.
The court heard how Mr Cowie gave her money throughout the time he had known her.
She phoned the banks which held his inheritance and tried to gain access to his accounts.
She even enlisted the help of a man to pretend to be Mr Cowie during the calls. But Stewart failed to gain access to Mr Cowie’s finances as he had previously reported his cards stolen.
Keep up to date with the latest news with The Evening Express newsletter
Stewart, a prisoner of HMP Grampian, admitted killing Mr Cowie but claimed she didn’t murder him because she had mental health problems and was unable to know right from wrong.
However, a psychiatrist told the court he couldn’t find anything wrong with Ms Stewart.
Jurors convicted the drug addict and alcoholic of murder today.
Passing sentence, judge Lord Pentland ordered Stewart to serve a minimum of 15 years in prison.
He said: “I conclude that you committed a savage and cruel murder with deliberation. The medical evidence showed he was fighting for his life but you showed him no mercy.
“The jury has rightly in my view rejected your defence of provocation. They have seen through your tissue of lies.
“After murdering Mr Cowie you tried to cover your tracks and showed a callous disregard for what you have done.
“Although your relationship with him was a difficult one, my overall impression is that you preyed and manipulated him in order to secure money to feed your addictions to drink and drugs.
“There is only one sentence which I can impose in this case and it is life imprisonment.”
Before ordering Stewart to be taken to the cells, Lord Pentland told her: “You have not shown the slightest bit of regret or remorse for your actions.
“I will set the punishment part for your crime at 15 years.”
Detective Inspector Gary Winter, who led the inquiry, said: “Despite having her own home, Sharyn Stewart lived with Alan Cowie in his flat although claimed to not be in a relationship with him.
“Our inquiries identified that a significant portion of his finances went on purchases for Stewart and when money was not available to her she became violent and cruel.
“Her final act towards him would turn out to be the most violent and brutal of them all when she – by her own admissions at court – banged his head repeatedly off the kitchen floor and thereafter stood on his throat until he was dead.
“Alan sustained many injuries during this assault including multiple rib fractures and I cannot begin to imagine what he suffered in his final moments.
“Thanks to crucial information we received from members of the public combined with strong forensic work, Stewart will thankfully now have to spend a significant period of time behind bars.
“It is just tragic that this outcome has been at the expense of a pensioner being brutally murdered in his own home.
“My thoughts are with Alan’s family today.”