Court told of mur­der ac­cused’s con­fes­sion

Evening Express (City Final) - - Front Page -

A MAN has told a court how a mur­der ac­cused told him dur­ing a fes­tive party how she killed a man by “stand­ing on his neck”.

John Pat­ter­son, 39, said Sharyn Ste­wart, 53, re­vealed she took the life of a man dur­ing a get-to­gether at a house in Pen­nan Road, Aberdeen, on Jan­uary 2 2018. Mr Pat­ter­son was giv­ing ev­i­dence on the sec­ond day of trial pro­ceed­ings against Ste­wart, who de­nies mur­der­ing Alan Cowie and an­other charge of at­tempted mur­der. A state­ment of ev­i­dence agreed be­tween prose­cu­tors and Ste­wart’s lawyers states she caused Mr Cowie’s death by as­sault­ing him. Her lawyer Stephen O’Rourke QC has lodged a spe­cial de­fence of di­min­ished re­spon­si­bil­ity. The High Court in Ed­in­burgh heard Mr Pat­ter­son say that it was the first time he met Ste­wart, who is ac­cused of mur­der­ing Mr Cowie at his home on Alexan­der Ter­race on the same day. He said fel­low par­ty­go­ers were cheer­ful and hav­ing a good time but Ste­wart was “up­set”. Mr Pat­ter­son, also of Aberdeen, told pros­e­cu­tion lawyer An­gela Gray: “She looked a bit de­pressed. She came over and sat be­side me. “She told me that she had just killed some­one. She had stood on his neck and put a bag over his head. “I didn’t be­lieve it. I didn’t know what to think. I thought she had been drink­ing. I was say­ing to her that ev­ery­thing would be OK.” Mr Pat­ter­son told Ms Gray he ar­rived at his friend’s house at ap­prox­i­mately 10pm. He said af­ter she al­legedly made the re­marks about killing the man, Ste­wart started ask­ing about petrol. He added: “She was go­ing on about petrol from the petrol sta­tion. She wanted to know how much petrol cost. She wanted to know what time you could be served petrol (un­til).” When Ms Gray asked Mr Pat­ter­son why she wanted petrol, he replied: “It was be­cause she was go­ing to burn down his house. “I took it was be­cause she was want­ing to get rid of ev­i­dence. I just said: ‘You can’t go round burn­ing down houses’.” The court heard Mr Pat­ter­son pro­vided a wit­ness state­ment to de­tec­tives who were in­ves­ti­gat­ing Mr Cowie’s death. Ju­rors heard that, in the state­ment, Mr Pat­ter­son said Ms Ste­wart told him the man she killed “lived next to her daugh­ter”. Mr Pat­ter­son also said that, although he didn’t be­lieve Ms Ste­wart’s claims, he started to joke with her, sug­gest­ing a way of dis­pos­ing of a dead body. Mr Pat­ter­son added: “I said some­thing about rolling him up in a car­pet be­cause it was bet­ter than burn­ing the house down. “I was jok­ing.” The trial con­tin­ues to­day.

Po­lice at the scene of the al­leged in­ci­dent at Alexan­der Ter­race. In­set, Alan Cowie

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