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.

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.

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.