A 14-YEAR-OLD boy has admitted killing former East Kilbride nursery nurse Dawn McKenzie by stabbing her 10 times for grounding him.
The schoolboy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was originally charged with murdering his 34-year-old foster carer at her Hamilton flat on June 24 last year.
The Crown accepted his plea to a lesser charge of culpable homicide on the grounds of diminished responsibility.
Dawn worked for Glenburn House Nursery in College Milton for 11 years but left the private day nursery in November 2010 to become a foster carer.
At the High Court in Glasgow on Friday, sentence on the boy was deferred until August for background reports.
The court heard that in the days leading up to the killing, the boy’s X-box, mobile phone and laptop, given to him by his natural mother as a point of contact, had been taken off him.
A number of psychiatrists who examined the boy, who was aged 13 when he killed Dawn, said he was not able to control his behaviour at the time.
Dawn was stabbed 10 times on the head and body. The fatal blow severed a major blood vessel and caused her to bleed to death.
She was also stabbed twice in the scalp and the force of one of these blows was so great that the tip of the blade broke off and embedded itself in her skull. She was taken by ambulance to Hairmyres Hospital, where she died a short time later.
The defensive injuries she received showed that she had fought for her life.
After the boy fled, Dawn managed to dial 999 and told police who had stabbed her.
Advocate depute Alex Prentice QC, prosecuting, said: “The deceased and her husband Bryan treated the accused as their own. They were all due to go on holiday abroad together.
“It would appear that there was nothing remarkable about his behaviour in the lead-up to this offence.”
Mr Prentice added: “The accused had a circle of friends and a keen interest in football and is described by his friends as quiet and likeable.”
The court heard that it was the last day of school and instead of coming home at the agreed time the boy went swimming and then on to a McDonald’s with friends.
Mr Prentice said: “He did this without permission and was told that trust was an important issue. He was grounded and told he had to go to bed an hour earlier as punishment.”
Mr McKenzie said there was no animosity between his wife and the boy.
Mr McKenzie left the house to visit his brother-in-law. He kissed his wife goodbye and ruffled the boy’s hair as he left and said: “See you later wee man.”
That was the last time he saw his wife alive.
At 8.06pm, a 999 call was received from Dawn, who said she had been stabbed.
In the chilling recording, she can be heard shouting “Mum” and “Help, help,” and “Mam, am I dying?”
During the call, Dawn said she couldn’t breathe.
She also managed to dial her mum Ray Byrne’s number and left a voicemail message saying “Mum” and “Help”.
When police arrived at the scene, they found the front door ajar and Dawn lying covered in blood on the living room floor. A blood-stained knife with the tip broken off was lying on the couch.
One of the police officers asked Dawn: “Who stabbed you,” and she said: “It was the boy”.
The boy was stopped by a police officer at 8.25pm in Wellhall Road, Hamilton, after he saw him walking along with a cloth wrapped round his hand.
He asked him: “What’s wrong with you wee man? You’re shaking.”
The boy replied: “I’ve just stabbed my foster carer.”
The pathologist who carried out the post mortem examination said that the wounds in the scalp which damaged the skull would have required considerable force.
The boy told other psychiatrists that he had heard voices and claimed that during the knife attack he seemed to be watching himself from above.
Sentence was deferred on the boy, who was represented by QC Donald Findlay, until August for background reports and an assessment of the danger he poses to the public.