Tayside and Central Scotland

Domestic abuser jailed over attacks on pregnant women

A man who attacked a string of women, including two who were pregnant, has been jailed for more than three years.

James Simpson abused the three women over a period of several years in Dundee, Cupar, Forfar and Airdrie.

The 34-year-old, a prisoner at Perth, admitted three charges of assault and one of stalking, after ignoring police warnings not to contact one victim.

A sheriff told him his behaviour towards his partners had been "controlling, violent and abusive".

Dundee Sheriff Court heard that the offences against two of the women only came to light after the third complained to police about Simpson's behaviour, sparking a probe by Police Scotland's Domestic Abuse Task Force.

The court was told that Simpson had tried to strangle one victim, Pauline Hutton, with her dressing gown cord, as well as trying to smother her with a pillow and dragging her out of bed and kicking her while she was pregnant.

Fiscal depute Eilidh Robertson described one incident where Miss Hutton remembered "seeing most of an episode of Coronation Street" while lying on the floor, curled in a ball, with Simpson assaulting her.

'Violent and abusive'

Simpson also admitted assaulting an earlier partner, Charlene Tonner, while she was pregnant in 2006 by pushing her down steps at the Shell garage in Forfar where she worked.

He further admitted assaulting Leanne Rumgay, who he was in a relationship with in 2013. The pair broke up after Simpson assaulted her, but despite warnings from police he contacted her twice through messaging application Snapchat.

Sheriff Alistair Carmichael jailed Simpson for a total of three years and four months.

He told him: "I note your remorse, your shame and your apologies, and your acknowledgement of your need to address your behaviour towards your partners.

"These offences represent behaviour over a lengthy period of time that was controlling, violent and abusive towards three separate partners."

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