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Last Updated: Wednesday, 19 October 2005, 21:35 GMT 22:35 UK
Hospital for city woman's killer
Carstairs state hospital
Harrison was sent to Carstairs State Hospital to be assessed
A farm worker has admitted strangling a woman and dumping her body after she offered him sex.

Joseph Harrison, 28, killed 21-year-old prostitute Susan Third after "losing control" when she propositioned him in an Aberdeen street, a court heard.

Harrison, who admitted culpable homicide on the grounds of diminished responsibility, phoned his girlfriend and said: "I have killed somebody".

He has been sent to Carstairs State Hospital for assessment.

The High Court in Aberdeen heard how Harrison, a father-of-three from Brechin, suffers from either schizophrenia or drug-induced psychosis which causes an "abnormality of mind".

Harrison's callous and brutal actions that day deprived Susan of her life and robbed a family of their daughter and a young boy of his mother
Supt Alan Smith
Grampian Police

He put Ms Third's body in the boot of his car and drove it to a field. Harrison left the partially-clothed body next to his car before calling his pregnant girlfriend.

Judge Lord Abernethy ordered him to be initially detained at Carstairs for 12 weeks under an interim order so that his condition can be diagnosed.

Harrison was originally charged with murder but the Crown accepted the reduced charge

Outside the court, a friend of the family said: "Susan was a warm and caring girl who will always be missed by her loving family, long-term partner and beautiful little boy.

'Let down'

"She was cruelly and brutally taken from us and we will never, ever forget her."

She later added: "We feel let down by the Crown, who after all, are the only people in a position to fight Susan's corner."

Advocate-depute John Halley said Harrison strangled Miss Third sometime after midnight on 26 February after he picked her up in Aberdeen. He then put her body in his boot.

Mr Halley said Harrison then deliberately drove his car at another woman on the city's Castle Terrace, forcing her to hide behind a parked car, before swerving and driving out of Aberdeen.

On the A90 Harrison drove through a police roadblock which had been set up because of a road traffic accident.

Sexual contact

He then stopped at Denside of Catterline, near Stonehaven, where he dumped Miss Third's body.

Pathologists' reports indicated that Miss Third had been strangled by a ligature such as a thin cord.

The court also heard there was a 70% chance that Harrison had sexual contact with Miss Third after she died.

Grampian Police said it was actively working with agencies to help protect prostitutes.

Supt Alan Smith said: "Harrison's callous and brutal actions that day deprived Susan of her life and robbed a family of their daughter and a young boy of his mother.

"I hope the conclusion of the trial will give some closure to the family and the distraught they have suffered."




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