A woman standing trial accused of murdering a Dundee mum broke down saying “no, no, no” in her police cell after she learned of her alleged victim’s death, a court has heard.
Siobhan Russell is standing trial accused of striking 36-year-old Marie Low on the body with a knife at Ballantrae Terrace on September 4 last year. The 30-year-old denies the charges against her, submitting a special defence of self-defence.
At the High Court in Aberdeen yesterday, Detective Constable Richard Duncan gave evidence.
DC Duncan told the court he had arrived at the scene in the immediate aftermath of the alleged stabbing.
He described the scene as “chaotic”, with people running about and “blood on the ground”.
He said that he saw Russell being led out of her close by other officers and heard her shout, “she came at me with a knife first — what was I supposed to do?”
DC Duncan then left the scene to interview the deceased’s daughter Demi Hodge, 20, at Longhaugh Police Station.
During the course of the interview he was given information to suggest that the condition of Ms Low, who had been taken to Ninewells Hospital, had deteriorated rapidly.
The interview was suspended and Ms Hodge was transported to the hospital.
Ms Low died shortly after their arrival.
After comforting the family, DC Duncan returned to Police Scotland’s Bell Street headquarters.
Around 10pm that evening he was tasked, along with a colleague, with breaking the news to Russell that Ms Low had died. He said that they both attended her cell at Bell Street and told her that Ms Low had died in hospital.
Advocate Depute Alan Cameron asked DC Duncan how Russell had reacted to the news.
He said: “She was very upset — she started crying ‘no, no, no’. She was very tearful.”
He was also present when Russell was examined, noting that she had a number of injuries — including cuts to her face, shoulder, neck, forehead and fingers.
The court previously heard from Inspector Jamie Allan, who gave his recollection of the events in the aftermath of the alleged incident. He said he had arrived at the scene and been quickly briefed by officers already in attendance before making his way into Russell’s close.
He said she “appeared” at a doorway on the first floor and identified herself. She was then cautioned by officers and placed under arrest.
He told the court that he had heard Russell say, “the knife is under the kitchen sink”, or words to that effect.
The court also heard from Detective Constable Victor White, who had been in charge of the crime scene involving the interior of Russell’s close and flat. He told the court he observed a black knife in the kitchen cupboard under the sink.
Russell, formerly of Ballantrae Terrace, faces two charges, one of behaving in a threatening manner to Ms Low and another of murdering the deceased with a knife or similar instrument. The trial continues.