Wife looks for justice after years of abuse

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A violent husband was finally forced to answer for the years of violence and abuse he put his wife through.

Ian Robertson (52) had subjected his wife of 18 years to a catalogue of violent attacks and outbursts between 2011 and 2016.

The couple’s daughters would often have to haul Robertson off their mother and things got so bad towards the end of the relationship, Robertson’s wife even told him she would kill herself if he continued his abuse.

Appearing at Falkirk Sheriff Court last Thursday, Robertson, 9 Dunvegan Drive, Langlees, had admitted the assaults he committed against his wife on various occasions between July 4, 2011 and August 5, 2016.

The court heard the couple met in 1993, were married in 1999, had two children together and separated in May 2017.

Procurator fiscal depute Ruaridh Ferguson said: “There is very much a pattern to these offences. The first happened in July, 2011, when the accused came home from work because his car wasn’t working.

“He wanted to take the complainer’s car and she said she wasn’t happy about that. This led to a heated argument. The complainer was seated on the couch, he leaned on top of her and pinned her down.

“He was shouting in her face. The two children entered the living room and attempted to pull the accused off the complainer, who struck him on the head with a remote control.”

It was a similar incident in May, 2014.

Mr Ferguson said: “The accused had not been well and had been vomiting. He did not sleep in his bed and instead slept on the couch downstairs. The complainer woke up the next day to find he had already left for work.

“He had been sick during the night in the bathroom with the vomit going over bathroom walls and sink without being cleaned. She was annoyed at him on discovering this and phoned him at work to voice her displeasure.

“An argument ensued and the complainer said she was going to kick him out of the house. She then proceeded to pack his bags. The accused came home from work and the complainer took him into the bathroom to show him the mess he left.

“The accused seized the complainer by the body and pinned her down onto the toilet in a seated position, shouting in her face. The complainer shouted for help and the accused stood back, allowing her to run into the hallway.

“He followed her and once again pinned her down, shouting in her face it wasn’t his fault he was sick. The two daughters came into the hallway and tried to pull the accused off the complainer.

“They managed to usher him out of the front door. He spent the night in his car.”

In November, 2014, Robertson was unwell again and took exception to his wife choosing to sleep on a blow-up bed in the family room. He flew into another rage and got on top of her while she was still on the bed and put his hands around her neck.

Once again their two daughters were involved in trying to get him off of her.

Mr Ferguson said: “She said she was going to leave him and take the children. This resulted in a further argument. She was still on the bed. The accused got on top of her again and was shouting in her face while pinning her down by the arms.”

In December, 2015, Robertson took exception to his wife inviting relatives to come and stay and he once again reacted with violence, pinning her down to the couch.

The last incident happened in May, 2016.

“The couple were arguing about a car that needed repaired,” said Mr Ferguson. “The argument was about who was going to pay for the repair. He had her upstairs pinned down on the bed by her arms.

“He shouted in her face he loved her and he needed his car. The complainer told the accused if he didn’t let her go she would kill herself. He let go and then left the house.”

It was stated Robertson’s behaviour was continuing to have an impact on his wife and children, who no longer want anything to do with him.

Mr Ferguson said: “The complainer is currently living in temporary accommodation.”

Andy Bryson, defence solicitor, said Robertson, who suffers from very poor health but continues to work, had a “number of concerning attitudes”.

He added: “He views himself as someone who has been sinned against as well someone who has sinned. He is someone who has used physical force and violence during the course of arguments.”

Sheriff Derek Livingston said: “Your behaviour, followed by your minimisation of it, does you no credit whatsoever.”

He placed Robertson on a supervised community payback order for three years with the condition he attend the Caledonian domestic abuse project. Robertson also had to adhere to a non-harrassment order, which meant he could have no direct contact with his wife for a period of two years.