A man who killed his wife in a “final act of love” has been freed from prison after appeal judges quashed his sentence.
Ian Gordon, 67, was jailed for three years and four months last October for smothering wife Patricia, 63, with a pillow at their home in Ayrshire.
Lord Brodie, sitting with Lord Turnbull, overturned that decision and admonished him for culpable homicide.
They said they would explain their reasons in writing at a later date.
During his trial last year, jurors were told that Gordon acted because his partner of 46 years had been suffering from terminal cancer.
The couple’s daughter said the pair had made a death pact after Mrs Gordon began suffering constant pain, which painkillers failed to help.
The court was also told that she did not want to be treated for her health problems because of a fear of hospitals.
Gordon smothered her with a pillow at their home in Troon on 28 April 2016.
Lord Brodie told the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh: “The taking of human life is always a matter of the utmost seriousness.
“However, having read all the material which was provided and having listened to what was said by the Dean of Faculty we agree this is indeed an exceptional case.”
The judge said it was accepted by the authorities and Gordon’s family that his actions in hastening the death of his wife were motivated “solely by love” for her.
Lord Brodie said Gordon was a person of apparent excellent character who worked all his life and was devoted to his wife for 43 years.
Defence counsel, the Dean of Faculty Gordon Jackson QC, told the court that Gordon’s jail sentence had taken him away from his family and meant that he was not with them to help with the grieving process.
He added: “They feel as if they have been given a double whammy.
“There is absolutely no reason why this man should be in jail and certainly not for any longer.”