Mother’s tears as she relives night of baby’s alleged murder

The mother of baby Annalise Middleton wept in court on Tuesday as she relived the night her husband allegedly murdered the child by setting fire to their home.

Kareen Middleton, 24, said she had been drinking alcohol with her husband Billy and three teenage girls on the night of the blaze at the family home in Brae.

Giving evidence at the High Court in Aberdeen, she said her husband’s 14-year-old niece and her friends were staying the night in a tent pitched in the garden.

She said she had been “laughing and joking” with her husband but had stormed out during the night.

The mother-of-three sobbed uncontrollably when shown a photograph of the remains of the baby’s buggy taken after the blaze.

Middleton, 32, is accused of murdering nine-month-old Annalise and attempting to murder two other children, aged six and three, by setting fire to clothes and curtains. He denies the charges.

Advocate Depute Jock Thomson asked Mrs Middleton: “Did there come a time when you stormed out of the house?”

She replied: “Yes, I can’t remember why, I had quite a bit to drink.”

Mr Thomson then asked: “Do you recollect that there was a time when you and his niece were in the kitchen when Billy said to one of the girls ‘I wish I’d met you before I met my wife’?”

She replied: “No, I don’t remember.”

Asked what she saw when she returned to the house, she replied: “I think there was smoke coming out of the door. I was trying to get in. I couldn’t get in so I went to the other door. I was trying to break the

Clutching a photograph of her children, she told the court that there were people pinning her to the ground to stop her getting back into the house.

Fighting back tears, she added: “That whole night and for about two weeks after, I can’t really remember much of.”

Mr Thomson then asked Mrs Middleton, of Lerwick, to read out a letter in court. She told the jury that she had not seen the note until it was shown to her by a police officer.

Mrs Middleton said the note read: “I kept trying to tell you about Uncle Andy, lying b******”.

Asked how relations were between her uncle Andy and her husband, she said: “They weren’t very good at all.”

The court heard tht she had stayed with her uncle Andy Williamson during a short separation from her husband.

Earlier the jury heard evidence from a woman, who cannot be named, who claimed Middleton had tied her up during sex.

She said she had gone to the doctor for a check-up because he had sexually assaulted her while she was pregnant.

However, Middleton has lodged the special defence of consent to the sexual assault charge.

Meanwhile fire expert Andrew Wade said a naked flame was the “most feasible” cause of the fire.

He told the jury he believed burnt papers found at the bottom of curtains were the cause of the bedroom blaze.
The trial continues.


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