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Friday, 14 June, 2002, 14:43 GMT 15:43 UK
Poisoner banned from family home
Supreme courts sign
The case was heard at the Court of Session
An academic who tried to poison his wife has been banned from returning to the family home when he is released from jail.

Paul Agutter put bottles of spiked tonic water on the shelves of an Edinburgh supermarket in a scheme to kill his wife.

The 55-year-old was jailed for 12 years after being convicted in 1995 of attempted murder.


It is apparent that Agutter has no understanding of the damage he has done to his family and that he believes he has done nothing wrong

John Mundy
However, the Court of Session in Edinburgh heard that Agutter had maintained his innocence and acted towards his wife as if nothing had happened.

Dr Alexandra Agutter, 46, divorced her husband in 1998.

On Friday she was granted an interim interdict by Lord Philip preventing Agutter from phoning her, calling at or entering her home and attempting to make contact with her.

The judge heard that Agutter is due for release in September and is being considered for home leave on licence.

Dr Agutter has refused to have contact with her husband, refusing to visit him in prison or take his calls to her home.

Paul Agutter
Agutter was jailed for 12 years
Her counsel, John Mundy, said: "It is apparent that Agutter has no understanding of the damage he has done to his family and that he believes he has done nothing wrong.

"He expects others to regard him as innocent.

"He gives the clear impression that he is temporarily absent from home and has given the impression that after his release he will resume life as if nothing had happened and return to the former matrimonial home."

Mr Mundy said this would cause "considerable fear, alarm and distress".

He also argued that there was no legitimate reason for Agutter to call at the house at Athelstaneford in East Lothian.

Gin and tonic

The biochemistry lecturer sparked a nationwide poison scare by placing bottles of tonic water spiked with atropine on the shelves of a Safeways store at Hunters Tryst, Edinburgh.

Eight people took ill after drinking the contaminated product.

Agutter had fallen for a former student and hoped his wife would fall victim when he put a potentially lethal dose in a gin and tonic.

He was convicted of attempting to murder his wife at their home and recklessly endangering members of the public.

Trial judge, Lord Morison, said it was "an evil and cunningly devised crime".

Agutter was not represented at Friday's hearing.

See also:

18 Apr 02 | Scotland
24 Dec 01 | Scotland
07 Nov 00 | Wales
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