Wife who targeted husband for abuse avoids jail

The court heard Debbie Howlieson has an alcohol problem
The court heard Debbie Howlieson has an alcohol problem

A wife has narrowly avoided jail for abusing her husband and making his life miserable over a four-month period.

The desperate man turned to Falkirk Council’s housing department for help claiming he was a victim in his own home.

At Falkirk Sheriff Court on May 12 his tormentor, Debbie Howlieson, was placed on a two-year supervised community payback order and told to attend alcohol counselling.

She was warned the sentence was being imposed as a direct alternative to being send to prison for her shocking behaviour.

The court heard that between November 2015 and February this year the 45-year-old, from 28 Brooke Street, Grangemouth, had repeatedly behaved in a threatening or abusive manner towards James Cassidy.

She regularly shouted and swore at him and uttered threats, and on one occasion threw an ashtray at him and pushed him so hard he fell against a radiator and hurt himself.

The court was told that, after Mr Cassidy contacted town hall officers claiming he was a victim of domestic abuse, the police were called in to investigate.

He told them they had been married for four years, but over a “number of months” Howlieson’s behaviour had been “erratic” and she had thrown things at him, verbally abused him and assaulted him.

When she was interviewed by officers she made other offensive remarks of a threatening nature about her husband.

Howlieson had admitted the charges in court on April 18 and had sentence deferred for social inquiry and background reports to be prepared.

Her lawyer claimed: “At first glance the narration suggests she is a cruel lady, and it does not help that she has an alcohol problem, financial problems and concerns over her husband’s health issues. It all added up.

“She is absolutely ashamed and embarrassed about the way she acted, realises there has to be a punishment and also accepts she needs help.

“But she still loves her husband, they are still living together and she is ready to face her issues head on.”

nThere is a confidential helpline for men across the UK suffering from domestic violence or abuse from their current or former wife or partner – 01823 334244.

The freephone 24-hour national domestic violence helpline number for women is 0808 2000 247.