Thug wrapped cord around partner’s neck

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A drunken thug who wrapped a dressing gown cord around his partner’s neck after she came back late from a night out has avoided jail.

Douglas Haggart also punched and kicked Melanie Moir (44), leaving her bruised and hoarse. Falkirk Sheriff Court heard that Haggart (53), of 159 Union Road, Camelon, has a previous conviction for domestic abuse.

He admitted assaulting Ms Moir at the house they shared in Cultenhove Crescent, Stirling, on February 12 last year.

Prosecutor Graham McLachlan said: “He moved in with this lady shortly after their relationship began.

“She had been out with a friend and came in late which caused bad feeling on the part of the accused.”

Mr McLachlan said Haggart began “picking arguments” with Ms Moir and then assaulted her.

He added: “During the course of this, there was a dressing gown cord which he wrapped round her neck, a quite frightening experience for her.”

Ms Moir “eventually managed to extricate herself from the situation” and fled to a neighbour who raised the alarm.

She was examined by a doctor who noted that her face was red and swollen. She had redness to her neck, and cuts and bruises to her legs, nose, right ear and right arm.

Allegations that Haggart detained Ms Moir against her will, washed pills down her throat by pouring wine into her mouth, brandished a hammer, tied her hands and restricted her breathing were dropped.

Defence agent Lynn Swan said Haggart had suffered a heart attack the previous October and was on heavy medication.

Referring to the assault, she added: “He had consumed a large amount of spirits and effectively blacked out, but given the discussions I have had with him and the injuries sustained, he accepts that something happened.”

Sheriff John Mundy said, in deciding not to jail Haggart, he had taken account of the fact the original charge had been “vastly reduced”.

Haggart will be supervised for two years, must attend a domestic abuse programme and must not contact Ms Swan under a three-year non-harassment order.