Tayside and Central Scotland

Couple jailed for 'appalling' abuse of pregnant woman

Dundee Sheriff Court
Image caption Dundee Sheriff Court heard the couple's victim escaped through a bathroom window

A Dundee couple who subjected a pregnant woman to three days of abuse and attacks have been jailed.

Chantelle Murray suffered a miscarriage after climbing out of a window to escape from Jennifer McIlravey and Roderick Cuthbert.

A court heard McIlravey threatened and punched Ms Murray after being told Cuthbert was the baby's father.

Sheriff Tom Hughes jailed Cuthbert for 15 months and McIlravey for nine months.

The sheriff called the offences "appalling".

Dundee Sheriff Court was told Ms Murray had begun a relationship with Cuthbert and was around eight to 10 weeks pregnant.

The trio were living together in the same flat at the time of the offences.

The court was told that McIlravey had given her blessing to the relationship but was unaware Cuthbert was the father of the child.

Stole medical supplies

Depute fiscal Alan Kempton said: "Upon awakening on 27 January, the complainer saw blood, which she assumed was to do with her pregnancy. She was advised to get medical attention.

"McIlravey shouted through from the bedroom for a cigarette and Ms Murray said she would get one.

"McIlravey said "get out of my face", jumped out of bed and pushed Ms Murray with both hands."

Later, Ms Murray experienced further bleeding and asked McIlravey for advice, telling her Cuthbert was the father.

McIlravey "did not respond well" and threatened her with violence.

The court was told Ms Murray attended Ninewells Hospital with Cuthbert and doctors recommended she be admitted.

However, Cuthbert insisted on taking her back to the flat and stole medical supplies, including scalpels, from the hospital.

'Repeatedly punched'

When they returned home, McIlravey and Cuthbert threatened Ms Murray.

Mr Kempton added: "On January 28, Ms Murray was slapped four or five times by McIlravey shortly after she got out of bed.

"She was also repeatedly punched on the head and body.

"Thereafter, on January 30, Ms Murray left the locus — she stood on the bath and sink and squeezed out of a window."

Cuthbert, 37, admitted behaving in a threatening and abusive manner and stealing medical items.

McIlravey, 35, pled guilty to assaulting Ms Murray and acting in a threatening and abusive manner.

Sheriff Hughes told Cuthbert: "You have an appalling record of convictions and no signs you are trying to change your ways."

Sheriff Hughes told McIlravey: "I accept you have a limited record but you have pleaded guilty to an appalling offence quite knowingly doing what you did."

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