Man jailed for ‘appalling’ murder of partner in Aberdeen

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Image source, Police Scotland

A man has been jailed for a minimum of 20 years for the “appalling” murder of his partner in Aberdeen.

Jacqueline Kerr – a 54-year-old support worker for children with learning difficulties – was found dead in January in her home on Sunnyside Road.

Christopher Cook, 44, admitted murdering her last month.

Judge Lord Weir, who described it as an “appalling outbreak of lethal violence”, jailed Cook for life at the High Court in Edinburgh.

Warning: This story contains details some readers may find upsetting

Lord Weir told Cook he had committed “what can only have been a brutal and sustained assault upon her with tragic and fatal consequences”.

The victim had suffered head injuries which were consistent with a car crash or a fall from height.

Cook – on bail at the time of the attack – had previously been accused of domestic assault relating to the victim in June last year.

It is understood he was on bail for an allegation of assault on the victim.

Christopher Cook

Image source, Police Scotland

Advocate depute Shanti Maguire, prosecuting, previously told the High Court in Aberdeen that Cook had faced a charge of domestic assault alleging he attacked the deceased in June 2022 in her home.

However the court heard the case was not brought to a conclusion.

She said the accused and the victim had an “on-off relationship” since March 2022, after meeting on a night out.

The victim said at one stage she was “getting scared now”, and would have to watch her back to stay safe.

Her body was found by police on her bedroom floor.

She had significant face and head injuries, with hair clumps scattered around her home.

Following the murder, Cook sent a former partner a message which said: “I have killed her. She attacked me and I Iost it. I really messed up this time.”

After being detained, he was charged with domestic abuse and murder.

Police officers standing outside the property on Sunnyside Road, Aberdeen

Lord Weir described it as a “harrowing” case.

Defence counsel Michael Anderson KC said Cook had found recounting the events of the murder to a social worker, who prepared a background report on him, to be “extremely distressing”.

The defence counsel said: “He advises that he wept most of the meeting.”

The victim’s family said in a statement: “Jacqueline was the light of our lives, she was so loved by all those who had the pleasure of knowing her.”

They added: “The day our sister’s life was taken was the day part of our lives were taken too. We will never truly heal from the pain. We have young grandkids asking where their aunt is.

“Those who Jacqueline worked with and supported, unable to understand why she no longer comes to work. We wouldn’t wish this on anybody.

“Thank you to all those involved in the investigation.”

Det Insp James Callander, of Police Scotland’s Major Investigations Team, said: “Jacqueline Kerr was subjected to a brutal attack in her own home by Christopher Cook.

“While it cannot change what happened, I hope this outcome in court leads to some closure for Jacqueline’s family.”

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