Date Of Sentence: 1 Nov 1968
Date Of Release:
Brian Tevendale, the famous killer who held centre stage at one of Scotland's most sensational murder trials, has died at the age of 58. Some 35 years after he and his lover Sheila Garvie were sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of her husband, Max, as he lay asleep in his farmhouse in the Mearns, Tevendale collapsed and died in his Perthshire home. It is suspected that he suffered a heart attack. The Garvie trial, which was held at Aberdeen in December, 1968, saw some unprecedented scenes at the High Court, with queues forming from 2.45am to hear the final day of the trial. The jury was unanimous in its guilty verdict for Tevendale and found Sheila Garvie guilty by majority. Tevendale's workmate, Alan Peters, who was accused of accompanying him, walked free when a not proven verdict was returned. Brian Tevendale was born in Stonehaven in 1945, the youngest of three children. His father was Major Lewis Tevendale, a former policeman who won the DCM for his heroism in the Second World War. Tevendale was brought up in the Bush Hotel, which his father owned, near St Cyrus. After attending Montrose Academy, he went to wireless college in Aberdeen. Yet he gave up after just a year when his father died. He then joined the army. That career was short-lived when he went absent without leave and ''borrowed'' a car with another recruit who was in the medical corps. He returned to what was an apparently unremarkable civilian life until he and his sister, Trudi, who was married to a policemen, Fred Birse, became entangled with the Garvies. Trudi Birse became Max Garvie's mistress and he was happy to share not only his love of Scottish nationalism with Trudi's brother, Brian Tevendale, but also his wife - as long as there was no emotional involvement. As the murder trial went on, stories emerged of orgies at a rural hideaway called ''kinky cottage'' and of Max Garvie's insatiable desire for drugs, drink and sex. On some occasions, Max Garvie and Tevendale were said to have tossed a coin to decide who would sleep with Sheila Garvie. However, the 23-year-old bearded mechanic Tevendale and the attractive 33-year-old wife of the so-called ''flying farmer'' fell in love, and when Garvie ended his affair with Trudi Birse, their romance continued. The outwardly respectable farmer had a vicious streak and his repeated violence led to his wife and Tevendale plotting his murder. As he slept in his West Cairnbulg home on May 14, 1968, his wife opened the door to Tevendale. Sheila Garvie led her lover to her husband's bed and handed him the rifle with which he then shot him through the head. Max Garvie's body was wrapped in a sheet and dumped in an underground tunnel near Lauriston Castle. It was only found after Sheila Garvie's mother told police that her daughter had said that she thought her husband had been murdered by her boyfriend. During the trial, the victim's yellowed skull was produced as a major piece of evidence, causing one juror to faint. When in court, Garvie declared her love for Tevendale. Even after their conviction it was reported that the two planned to seek permission to marry in prison. However, three months after the trial was over, she wrote to him to tell him: ''I have decided to have nothing more to do with you ever again.'' Tevendale said later he believed she wrote the letter because she was being denied access to her children, Wendy, Angela and Lloyd. The two never met again. They both spent 10 years in prison and when he was released, Tevendale married and became the landlord of a village pub in Perthshire. He died of a suspected heart attack in Scone just days before he was due to leave Scotland for a new life in Gambia. Sheila Garvie is a familiar figure in Stonehaven, where she has lived for many years. After her release from prison, she ran her aunt's guest house in Aberdeen and married a Rhodesian welder. The marriage quickly failed but she married for a third time, to drilling engineer, Charles Mitchell, and lived happily with him until his death 11 years ago.