Wife Killer Loses Appeal

A former accountant who stabbed his wife 86 times has lost a bid to overturn his conviction for her murder.

David Lilburn was jailed for life and ordered to serve at least 19 years after killing his spouse, Ann, in a frenzied knife attack.

Lilburn (52) had claimed at his original trial at the High Court in Glasgow in 2008 that he was suffering diminished responsibility at the time, which could have resulted in a conviction for the lesser offence of culpable homicide.

The former loss adjuster claimed a "black shadow" had telepathically told him to carry out the killing.

But a jury found him guilty of murdering his 43-year-old wife at this home in Paisley on July 29 2007.

Lilburn had begun an affair with another woman he had met through personal ads in the Herald newspaper.

After his wife rejected a dinner invitation, he had gone out with the other woman instead before returning home, his trial heard.

He claimed he had taken a large dose of lithium and Tylenol and attacked his wife following an argument.

He maintained the black shadow had appeared and telepathically told him to go ahead and kill her.

Lilburn subsequently lost an appeal against his conviction for murder but his case was referred back to the Court of of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh by the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission, which looks at alleged miscarriages of justice.

The Lord Justice Clerk, Lord Carloway, sitting with Lady Dorrian and Lord Bracadale, today rejected the latest legal challenge.

Lilburn's appeal was based on new evidence, that he claimed supported the view that his responsibility was diminished at the relevant time.

It was based on observations of Lilburn as a patient at the high security State Hospital at Carstairs.

Lord Carloway said: "It is a striking feature of the case that, contrary to the accounts of the appellant's mental state given by the new psychiatrists, there is no substantial body of evidence from which it can reasonably be concluded that the appellant was in a hypomanic state at the time of the killing."

The appeal judges came to the view that it cannot be said that the new evidence could have had a material influence on the jury's consideration of diminished responsibility at the trial given the facts spoken to in testimony.

The trial judge also considered that the new evidence could not have produced a different verdict.

They rejected the appeal but said if it had been allowed it would have led to a re-trial.