Man pleads guilty to murder of his 84-year-old grandmother

A man has been jailed for life after he admitted murdering his grandmother in the Highland home they shared.

At the High Court in Edinburgh today (19 May) Scott McCulloch, 26, from Forres in Moray, pled guilty to murdering 84-year-old Patricia Bitters by subjecting her to a brutal assault. 

Retired Patricia Bitters, who struggled with her mobility, was so badly injured in the attack that she died in hospital six days later. 

The Court was told that unemployed McCulloch had been living with his grandmother for around five years, assisting with her daily care needs. 

However, late in the evening of 28 August last year, neighbours heard a disturbance at the home they shared in Forres and rushed to investigate. 

A distressed and intoxicated Scott McCulloch told them: “I have killed my granny.  I didn’t mean to do it.” 

At court today, he admitted repeatedly punching Mrs Bitters and stamping on her head and body. 

She succumbed to her injuries in Raigmore Hospital, Inverness, on 3 September 2022. 

Scott McCulloch was sentenced to life imprisonment for Mrs Bitters’ murder.  

The Judge imposed a punishment part of 15 years, the minimum period Scott McCulloch must serve before being eligible to apply for parole. 

Procurator Fiscal David Green, who leads on homicide prosecutions for the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS), said:  

“Scott McCulloch subjected his elderly grandmother to an appallingly violent assault.  He murdered a woman who trusted him and relied upon him for her care. 

“His actions have had a devastating effect on the family.   

“Our thoughts are with the relatives of Mrs Bitters as they try to come to terms with their loss.”