Brother and sister tell dad 'you took a life you had no right to take'

Stuart Robertson
-Credit: (Image: Merseyside Police)

A brother and sister "lost their mum and dad in one night" after a grandad strangled his wife to death.

Stuart Robertson killed his 62-year-old partner Dawn before placing a crucifix in her lifeless hands, taking a bus into St Helens town centre and handing himself in to the police after "pausing for a cup of tea" at Costa Coffee. He told a jury during his trial at Liverpool Crown Court that he that he had attacked his spouse after "feeling a burning anger and rage" when she told him his son was not his.

The 69-year-old was unanimously cleared of her murder but was jailed for six years yesterday after pleading guilty to manslaughter. Robertson, who will be required to serve at least two thirds of this term behind bars before becoming eligible for release on licence, nodded as he was imprisoned and mouthed the words "thank you" as he was led down to the cells.

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A statement was read out to the court during his sentencing hearing on behalf of the couple's daughter Licia Christian and son Michael Robertson. In it, they described how they had "both left home at a young age to build a life without chaos" and added: "We have lost our mum and dad in one night.

"We have both struggled to understand. This is still our dad.

"We unfortunately have no other family members. You took a life that you had no right to take.

"Your issues as a couple should never have got this far. Now you have to live with what you have done."

Robertson was seen to wipe his eyes and nose with a tissue in the dock as the statement was read out. The Honorary Recorder of Liverpool Judge Andrew Menary KC said of the siblings during his sentencing remarks: "Both are plainly conflicted about how they should feel.

"Both left home as soon as they reasonably could because of the chaos of the home their parents had created. But each has lost a mother in tragic circumstances and on some level, at some time, they have each lost someone they loved.

"Their relationship with you, their father, has also been damaged. There will be an impact too on the grandchildren."

Merseyside Police's Superintendent Allison Woods said following the hearing: “Our sincere condolences go to Mrs Robertson’s family, who have been supported by our specially trained officers following this tragic incident. It has been heartbreaking for them to relive her final moments during this trial, and they have essentially lost both parents as a result of that fateful day."

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