A former police officer whose career was blighted by sex scandals has been jailed for a minimum of 15 years for the murder of his wife.
Keith Farquharson, 60, strangled his wife Alice in their bedroom, on August 29 last year before performing CPR and dialling 999.
The dad-of-three pretended Alice, 56, had fallen out of bed when he was not in the room at their home in Aberdeen.
Farquharson, who had a string of affairs with junior colleagues and reportedly thought he was ‘God’s gift to women’, was married to Alice for more than 30 years. He claimed they planned to retire together.
Alice had worked as a pupil support assistant at Hazlehead Primary School for 17 years, and was adored by staff and pupils.
Former police officer Keith Farquharson has been jailed for his wife’s murder after pretending she fell out of bed last year
He strangled Alice Farquharson in the bedroom after she asked her husband ‘do you love me?’
Farquharson lied to his family about Alice’s death, which a post-mortem examination showed was caused by compression of the neck.
And he continued to lie through a trial at the High Court in Glasgow, forcing his children to give evidence – but a jury took just two hours to convict him last month following a five-day trial.
On the morning of the murder, Alice had laid in bed asked asked him: ‘Do you love me?’ Farquharson admitted he had ‘groaned’ at the question, and claimed his wife slapped him.
The former traffic officer then insisted they had struggled and he put his hand over her mouth to stop her screaming.
He said: ‘It was as if she started to choke. I knew something was wrong. When I let go she just rolled off the bed.’
Police had initially believed that her death to be ‘non- suspicious’, but a post-mortem found that Mrs Farquharson had suffered ‘mechanical asphyxia’, with a pathologist concluding that her neck had been compressed and that bruises on her face were consistent with gripping.
Sentencing Farquharson, judge Lady Stacey said it was ‘distressing’ that a man in his position of responsibility had committed such a serious crime.
‘You murdered your wife, to whom you had been married for over 30 years and with whom you lived,’ she said.
The former officer was sentenced at the High Court in Glasgow, pictured, where he was told he had ‘destroyed’ his family
‘You took the life of a woman in her fifties. In doing so you deprived her of what would probably have been many more years of life.
‘It is distressing that a man who has been in such a position should behave as you did and commit a very serious crime.
‘Your late wife was in her own home where she should have been safe when you attacked her and took her life.’
Judge Stacey added that his actions and deception had ‘destroyed’ his family and ‘taken away the trust’ that his children had in him.
‘You pretended that she had fallen out of bed when you were not in the bedroom. You knew that was not true. You did not tell the truth to your family either.
‘You left your family not knowing the truth. What you have done has destroyed your family and taken away the trust that children should be able to have in their father.’
In a statement, Alice’s children said they would miss her ‘an incredible amount’ and that their family would ‘never be the same again’.
‘To describe the loss of our mum, Alice, as a shock would be an understatement,’ they said. ‘She was an incredibly kind and caring person, with a great love for life and the people in it.
Farquharson thought he was ‘God’s gift to women’, according to a woman he had an affair with
‘She was so fond of all the pupils in her care and also the staff whom she worked alongside, calling herself their “work mum” and looking out for them all too. We miss her an incredible amount, as we know many others will.
‘At times since our mum’s death and as we spoke about what lay ahead of us, we would catch ourselves and ask ‘”can you believe that this has happened?”
‘Our family will never be the same again and we cannot begin to describe the devastating impact this tragedy has had on us.’
One of Farquharson’s colleagues who he had an affair with claimed he was ‘a show-off who sussed his targets’.
‘If he was chocolate, he’d have eaten himself. He was a show-off who sussed his targets,’ they told the Daily Record.
‘Policewomen I knew weren’t attracted to him but he thought he was God’s gift. No matter what rank he was, he just thought policewomen were there to be used.’