Put a knife to partner’s neck but avoids jail

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A man who put a knife against his fiancee’s neck and said he was going to kill her and their child has avoided jail.

Shamed Martin Laird was drunk when he made the threat during a booze-fuelled early morning rant.

Falkirk Sheriff Court heard last Thursday that Laird and Kay McManus had been in a relationship for five years and engaged to be married.

They had been drinking in their Bonnybridge home until around 2am on October 4 when she decided to go up to bed.

Procurator fiscal Adrian Fraser said: “He was unhappy she had gone to bed and when she went down to get some milk for their son there was a row in the kitchen. He accused her of having an affair, which she took great exception to.

“Laird grabbed her and held a kitchen knife against her throat and threatened to kill her and the child. He then tried to leave, but his partner stopped him because she was worried about what would happen.”

Mr Fraser said Laird called the police and told them: “We’re both drunk and our son has seen us fighting.”

The court was told Laird breached a bail condition imposed by the court on October 5 by being in the house at 6 Dunvegan Place just six days later.

Mr Fraser said: “When officers arrived she gave no indication he was not welcome. She and Laird told them they want to be together and raise their family. He has alcohol problems and suffers from depression, and she is helping him with his issues.”

Defence lawyer Murray Aitken said: “Laird is attending Alcoholics Anonymous and he and his partner intend to go for counselling together with a view to resuming their relationship. As a couple, they are determined that what happened will not happen again.”

As a direct alternative to jail, Sheriff Derek Livingston placed Laird on a three-year supervised community order to include 200 hours unpaid work to be completed in six months.

He told him: “Putting a knife at someone’s throat, drunk or not, is something that could leave the court with no option to a custodial sentence. If it had not been for your partner’s comments and the fact you are a first offender I’d be sending you to prison.”