A DEEPLY depressed mother who was told she should not have children

killed her husband and three-month-old son at point blank range with a

double-barrelled shotgun, a court was told d yesterday.

Daphne Pertwee told police: ''I shot my husband and baby because I

could not cope. I have very bad depression.''

The High Court in Edinburgh was told that 37-year-old Pertwee had a

long history of mental illness and her condition had deteriorated

rapidly after the birth of her son, Henry, in December last year.

Pertwee admitted that on March 25 this year in her home at The Haugh

Farmhouse, Kincardine O'Neil, Deeside, she killed her husband, Roger,

46, and her son by firing a gun at their heads.

Mr Charles McFarlane, QC, Advocate-depute, said this was a tragic case

in which Pertwee first began to show signs of mental illness about 1975

and was admitted to a mental hospital in the South of England.

She was released and married in 1982, but throughout her married life

received a course of injections for her condition. She was advised not

to have children but, after moving to Kincardine, she consulted a doctor

and decided to have a baby.

Because of the risk to the baby the injections were stopped and she

gave birth to a healthy son on December 29.

After the birth her mental state rapidly became worse and she was

admitted as a voluntary patient to the Royal Cornhill Hospital,

Aberdeen, before being discharged on March 20 and returning home.

Pertwee was given medication and maintained a close contact with her

own doctor. Her husband was keen to have her home, although he admitted

concern that he had not seen her in such a ''high'' condition since

before the birth.

Family friends Barbara and Michael Hearn came to visit, and on the

morning of March 25 Pertwee fed and bathed her son before her husband

went to work.

A doctor visited and checked the baby, and later Pertwee and the

Hearns went for walks with the baby. They thought she was a bit distant.

Shortly after arriving home from work around 5.30pm, Mr Pertwee went

to bed because he was feeling tired. His wife fed the baby and put him

in a cot in the same room as her husband.

She had a meal with the Hearns who thought she was ''quietish'', and

about 9pm she said she would go and check on her husband and son. She

shut the living room door and then the Hearns heard a loud noise like a

gunshot. Seconds later there was a second noise.

Pertwee walked into the living room and said: ''I've just shot them

both.'' She seemed very calm and sat in the living room with the Hearns

until the police arrived.

Mr McFarlane told the court that at no time before going upstairs had

Pertwee said anything against either her husband or the baby.

Mr Hearn went upstairs to check what had happened. He found Mr Pertwee

lying in bed on his right side with the back of his head blown off. The

baby was lying in his cot, also with the back of his head blown off.

When police arrived they found Pertwee to be ''irrationally calm'' in

the circumstances, while the Hearns were in a state of deep shock.

A detective inspector who arrived just after 10pm found her in a

''vacant'' state although she seemed to understand what was going on.

She explained how she had loaded the gun and shot her husband first,

then the baby. She explained that she had very bad depression and shot

them because she could not cope.

Lord Ross, Lord Justice Clerk, continued the case until tomorrow to

hear evidence from one of the psychiatrists who prepared reports on


The Judge said he was satisfied that he would have to make an order

detaining Pertwee in a psychiatric hospital, but needed to hear

psychiatric evidence before deciding whether she should be detained

without limit of time.