A Fife music teacher who buried her husband in the garden of their home in Portugal was fulfilling his dying wish, a friend of the couple has claimed.
Louise Khan from Lochgelly was arrested earlier this month after the body of her husband Alyn Pennycook was recovered by police at a farm in Linhares da Beira, where they had lived for three years.
The 46-year-old piano teacher will go on trial in Portugal on Monday and is facing two years in jail for “corpse desecration”.
There is no suggestion there was anything suspicious about Mr Pennycook’s death, thought to have been caused by a brain tumour but police believe Ms Khan failed to report the death.
Friend Killian Steele from Edinburgh said Ms Khan told him Mr Pennycook had wanted to be buried in the garden.
He said she phoned him shortly after her husband died and said: “It’s the right thing to do. I don’t think I’m breaking any laws.”
Killian said his friend had been through a horrific ordeal and added: “Thinking that she’s dragged his body into a hole she’d dug and covered it with the earth, I find that heartbreaking. I can’t imagine the damage that would do to someone.”
Mr Pennycook, a former lorry driver, was 59 when he died, just four weeks after being diagnosed with cancer.
“Alyn had a horrible death,” Killian told the Daily Record.
“Louise was nursing him at home and her life was absolute hell. They loved one another and were totally dedicated to each other. She was the only one there when he died. He wasn’t expected to go as quickly.”
Killian revealed Ms Khan had phoned him after Alyn died, thought to be at the end of September.
He said: “She was very upset. I remember her saying she was going to bury him in the garden and that’s what he wanted.
“She believed it was within the law. It was an oversight. She wasn’t trying to cover anything up.”
Police using ground-penetrating radar found Mr Pennycook’s body a few weeks ago.
His grown-up children from a previous marriage claim Ms Khan did not tell them their father was ill and they found out about his death via a Facebook message.