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Investigation into Borders Boxing Day horror finds mother-of-three was murdered by partner

Pauline Cockburn pictured with her killer Kevin Armstrong
Pauline Cockburn pictured with her killer Kevin Armstrong

DETECTIVES yesterday confirmed a mum found dead with her partner on Boxing Day had been murdered.

Pauline Cockburn, 48, was found with Kevin Armstrong, 53.

He had been suspected of shooting her then himself at his home in the Borders.

Last night, police confirmed a post mortem revealed Pauline, a mum of three, had been murdered and said they were not looking for anyone else in connection with her death.

They said Armstrong had not been formally identified yet but his death was “not suspicious”.

Detective Chief Inspector Keith Hardie, who is leading the inquiry, said: “Pauline was tragically taken from her family and friends at what should be a happy time of year.

“I can only imagine the circumstances make this even more heartbreaking and my thoughts are with them as they try to come to terms with their loss.

“Our investigation into her death is ongoing and, whilst we are not looking for anyone else, there are still lines of inquiry to follow up to ensure we know as much as we can about what happened.”

Police have declined to comment further on the apparent murder- suicide in Heiton, outside Kelso, Roxburghshire.

They also refused to discuss claims they had returned guns to Armstrong, after removing them following a row between the couple several months ago.

Neighbours said there had been trouble between the couple at Pauline’s home on Boxing Day before their bodies were found at Armstrong’s house. Armstrong’s mother Linda and her partner Patrick Young yesterday said the couple had got back together after a childhood romance and said she was unaware of any trouble between them.

Mr Young, 64, says the family “knew nothing” about any guns, and added: “We never heard anything about trouble in his relationships.

“We only ever heard the good things.

“Kevin spent the Saturday night before his death with his brother and he said he was fine.

“Something must have happened between him and Pauline. We will find everything out eventually.” Linda, 69, from County Durham, said her son, a father of five, was a “loner”, but added: “I don’t believe he could be capable of that.”

She added: “We don’t know what could have happened.

“We’re in complete shock and don’t know what to make of it all.”

She said Armstrong, who was a groundsman but also worked at a builders’ merchants, had been affected by his father’s suicide three decades ago.

Linda added: “He had everything, he had his own house and a good job.”

Mr Young said: “Linda only knew Pauline from when they dated when they were youngsters.

“They dated when Kevin was in his late teens.”

Mr Young said the couple had “split up and got back together”.

He added: “I don’t know how they rekindled their relationship.”

Forensic teams examined both Armstrong’s home in Ladyrig View and Pauline’s home in nearby Orchard Park, Kelso, which she shared with her son Paul Gresham.

They were seen with lists detailing blood on the living room floor and kitchen in Orchard Park. Bloodstains were also understood to have been found in a bedroom.