Tayside and Central Scotland

Doctor avoids jail for attacking wife 'in blind rage'

Dr Fraser Inglis Image copyright Tim Bugler
Image caption Dr Fraser Inglis carries out pioneering studies into Alzheimer's disease

A top Scottish doctor has avoided jail for beating his former wife "in a blind rage".

Dr Fraser Inglis attacked his ex-wife Elizabeth at their former home in Dunblane in February 2010.

The 53-year-old, who is the founder of the Glasgow Memory Clinic, was found guilty in July after a trial held over eight separate days that took nearly a year to complete.

He was sentenced to 100 hours community service.

The court heard he trapped his wife's arm in a heavy wooden door and thumped it with the door, before pushing her to the floor and repeatedly striking the side of her head with his foot.

She said she was left looking "like a battered wife" after the attack.

Sheriff William Wood told the father of three: "This is the sort of offence which in another context might well justify a custodial sentence."

He said he had considered and rejected calls from Inglis's lawyer to give him an absolute discharge.

Sheriff Wood continued: "Clearly you are a person for whom any sentence other than an absolute discharge will mean you may well suffer significant consequences professionally.

"It does seem to me sufficiently serious that there must be some punitive element."

Stirling Sheriff Court heard that Inglis "flipped" when Mrs Inglis questioned why their teenage daughter, who she thought should have been doing homework, was instead watching TV.

'Pent-up anger'

Their daughter, Marianne, now a 21-year-old medical student, said it was "like my dad had pent-up anger and he just wanted to take it out of her".

Marrianne, who described her parents' relationship as "like an illness", told the court her mother had been drinking.

She said: "She was volatile. When she drank her mood started to change and I knew she was looking for a fight.

"She was saying horrible things to me, like 'you're evil, you're a nasty person, you have no friends'.

"I was livid because it was just another night of arguing and chaos from her drinking."

Marianne said her mother then tried to come into to the TV lounge, and her father had closed the "heavy, sharp-edged wooden double door" on her mother's arm, "thumping" it on the limb several times in "a blind rage".

Later she found her father standing over her mother who was lying on the floor.

Sheriff Wood said that he did not accept Mrs Inglis's evidence about the amount of force involved.

But he told Inglis: "Nevertheless, she was injured. It seems to me this was a sustained episode, whereby having trapped her arm in a door and pushed her to the floor you then followed that up by striking her on the head as described.

"I dare say that your initial motivation was to protect Marianne Inglis, and I have taken that into account.

"You appear before me a man of otherwise impeccable character."

Inglis, who carries out pioneering studies into Alzheimer's disease, stood in the dock with his head bowed while the sheriff spoke.

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