Two years in jail for son in downward spiral of grief​​​​​​​

A grieving son who carried out a "violent assault" on his partner has been jailed for two years.

By Court reporter
Tuesday, 31st August 2021, 10:15 am
Updated Tuesday, 31st August 2021, 10:15 am
Pauline Cockburn’s murder shocked the village of Heiton in 2017.
Pauline Cockburn’s murder shocked the village of Heiton in 2017.

Jedburgh Sheriff Court was told Paul Gresham's life had been on a "downward spiral" following the murder of his mother on Boxing Day, 2017.

The 32-year-old pleaded guilty to assaulting the woman to her severe injury and permanent impairment at a house in Kelso in February.

Defence lawyer Mat Patrick said there was no explanation for the offence apart from intoxication.

He added:"As the report states, his life had been on a downward spiral following the death of his mother in terrible circumstances.

"Since that incident his mental health has been extremely poor and was on the slippery slope of self-medication and any substances he could get his hands on, and it culminated in this offence.

"He has accepted the fact a custodial sentence is inevitable."

Sheriff Peter Paterson said he took into account the tragic background affecting Gresham's family, but said it was a violent assault on the woman and there were children present at the time.

He reduced the sentence from 36 months to 24 months due to the guilty plea and made a supervised release order of six months.

In addition, a non-harassment order of five years was imposed involving his former partner.

Gresham's mother Pauline Cockburn, 48, was shot dead by her partner Kevin Armstrong at a house in Heiton, near Kelso, on Boxing Day, 2017, before he turned the gun on himself.