Man, 61, jailed for life after murdering wife in 'cruel and sadistic' hammer attack

16 February 2023, 16:54 | Updated: 16 February 2023, 17:03

Peter Maher, 61, has been jailed for life for murdering his wife Jeanna (R) in a "brutal" hammer attack in Glasgow.
Peter Maher, 61, has been jailed for life for murdering his wife Jeanna (R) in a "brutal" hammer attack in Glasgow. Picture: Police Scotland / Facebook

By Chris Samuel

A man has been jailed for life for murdering his wife in a "brutal" hammer attack in Glasgow.

Peter Maher delivered at least 11 blows to his wife of 30 years Jeanna Maher's head in their home in Drumchapel in September 2018.

Her son Stephen, recalled discovering his mother's body after returning to the property from work with his younger brother Richard.

Maher opened the door when they arrived, but Stephen, 35, told prosecutors that the 61-year-old seemed the "same as any normal day."

Stephen said he went upstairs to find his parents' room was an "absolute bombsite" with "everything everywhere".

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After discovering their mother's body, Stephen immediately dialled 999 and was told to try CPR, but he told prosecutors it wouldn't have had any effect.

The trial was mainly held in Maher's absence due to his disruptive behaviour in court.

Maher was found guilty of murder and attempting to defeat the ends of justice this week following a trial at the High Court in Glasgow.
Maher was found guilty of murder and attempting to defeat the ends of justice this week following a trial at the High Court in Glasgow. Picture: Police Scotland

He had denied killing Ms Maher, 51, and said he did not know who the culprit was.

The court heard how Maher had a history of abusive behaviour towards his wife.

Maher was found guilty of murder and attempting to defeat the ends of justice this week following a trial at the High Court in Glasgow.

He was ordered to spend at least 24 years behind bars before he is eligible for parole.

Jeanna Maher.
Jeanna Maher. Picture: Facebook

The Judge Lord Mulholland said: "You subjected your wife to a sustained brutal attack - you assaulted her and when she tried to defend herself you bound her wrists, arms and ankles with ligatures.

"You subjected this poor woman to repeated hammer blows to the head at 11 times but probably more.

"The injuries you inflicted were not survivable - what you did was cruel and sadistic."

He added that Maher did nothing to help her after inflicting an "appalling catalogue of injuries".

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Lord Mulholland told him: "Your sentence is not the only life sentence as you have given your sons and your wife's family life sentences and grief - you will pay the heavy price for what you did."

Speaking after the verdict on Tuesday, Det Supt Scott McCallum, of Police Scotland's major investigation team, said: "This was a brutal attack on a woman who should have been safe in her own home and Peter Maher will now have to face the consequences for his actions.

“Domestic crime, in all its forms, remains one of Police Scotland’s top priorities.

“If you are experiencing abuse, I would encourage you to contact police who can provide reassurance and support about those next steps.”

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