Page last updated at 12:51 GMT, Friday, 18 July 2008 13:51 UK

Accountant guilty of wife murder

David and Ann Lilburn
David Lilburn stabbed his wife, Ann, 86 times at the family home

A former accountant who stabbed his wife 86 times at the family home has been found guilty of murder.

David Lilburn knifed his wife of 26 years, Ann, in the chest, head and limbs at their home in Paisley, Renfrewshire, on 29 July last year.

He admitted carrying out the attack on the 43-year-old but claimed diminished responsibility due to mental illness.

A jury at the High Court in Glasgow took just two and a half hours to find the 45-year-old guilty of murder.

He now faces life behind bars when he returns to court in September.

Lilburn had been enraged after his wife vowed to leave him over his affair with another woman, the court was told.

A chilling 999 call heard hysterical Ann scream "I'm dead" as her husband repeatedly plunged four kitchen knives into her body.

Ann Milburn's son read a statement outside court

The defence had claimed mental ill health made Lilburn believe a "black shadow" was controlling him and wanted the murder charge to be reduced to culpable homicide.

The court heard that in 2001, he retired from his job as a forensic accountant, citing problems with his mental health.

He was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder and later schizoaffective disorder.

Last year he embarked on an affair after answering an advert in a newspaper lonely hearts column.

Lilburn told the court his womanising lead to the "complete destruction" of his wife and that their two sons and daughter had lost respect for him.

Ann consulted lawyers about a divorce and her husband was sent a letter demanding he leave the family home for the sake of his wife and daughter.

Row erupted

In the early hours of 29 July 2007, Lilburn had gone to sleep in the marital bed despite it being agreed that he use a spare room.

The court heard Ann came home, a row erupted and Lilburn repeatedly banged her head against a door frame and floor.

He grabbed four knives from the kitchen before returning to stab his wife 86 times.

After the attack, he stepped over his wife's body and went for a shower.

When police arrived, Lilburn answered the door to them wearing her dressing gown and looking like "someone from the pages of a magazine".

An officer wept in court as he relived trying to keep Ann alive.

Pc Jon Mochan said: "I gathered the knives that were near her and then I tried to give her first aid.

"There was a double bed and I stripped two pillows.

No memory

"I put one on her chest and stretched it out to compress the blood. I could not put a breath into her."

Lilburn told police he had no memory of any attack and that he believed his wife was still alive.

However, during the trial, he admitted killing her and said a mysterious "black shadow" had telepathically told him to.

He claimed his mental health had been suffering in the lead up to the attack and that he had felt a "sense of foreboding".

But the court heard from a score of witnesses who had seen Lilburn prior to the stabbing, including doctors and family, and no-one had reported concerns about his mental health.


SEE ALSO
Accountant admits to killing wife
16 Jul 08 |  Scotland
Court hears woman's final words
07 Jul 08 |  Scotland

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