Perthshire Advertiser

Pensioner’s chilling threats to kill wife

- COURT REPORTER

Two days after the tragic death of their daughter, a pensioner threatened to kill his wife during a chilling verbal onslaught at their home.

Sixty-seven-year-old Ian Turnbull then attacked her, grabbing her face and mouth with both hands before banging her head against a wall.

The accused, who shouted that he would “find her anywhere she went to escape from him,” was fined a total of £1200 at Perth Sheriff Court.

He was also ordered to pay his estranged wife, who is now living at an undisclose­d address in Perth, £300 compensati­on.

In addition, a 12-month NonHarassm­ent Order was imposed, banning him from approachin­g, contacting or communicat­ing with her in any way.

Turnbull, of Perth Road, Stanley, admitted shouting and swearing, behaving in an abusive manner and making the threats at his house on October 27, 2020.

He also pled guilty to a second charge of assaulting her by seizing her by the clothing and the head, shaking her and striking her head on the wall, to her injury.

The court was told that the couple had been married for 47 years and had three grown-up children.

Their daughter, Emma, however, had died and Mrs Turnbull, against the accused’s wishes, had gone to her home a few doors away in Perth Road.

Depute fiscal Sarah Wilkinson said Mrs Turnbull was at her daughter’s house about 11am when the accused phoned.

He shouted that he needed shopping and demanded that she return home “immediatel­y.”

“Aware that the accused was angry, she was fearful of the accused,” added the fiscal.

After the assault, he screamed at her: “No matter where you go, I’ll find you.”

Solicitor Billy Somerville said his client accepted he had been drinking to excess at that time.

Mrs Turnbull had moved to alternativ­e accommodat­ion in Perth but the accused did not know where.

Sheriff Foulis told Turnbull, a first offender, that the “clear impression” he had been given was that he had behaved in a “most unpleasant way” towards his now estranged wife over a very considerab­le period.

But a background report indicated he was unsuitable for unpaid work and he also took account of the “tragic events” which took place two days before the assault.

In days gone by, the “obvious disposal” would have been prison but there was now a presumptio­n against imposing jail terms of less than a year.

The maximum sentence he could impose was 12 months but that had to be discounted for his early guilty plea.

“Accordingl­y, the only realistic way to deal with this matter is by the imposition of a very significan­t financial penalty,” concluded the sheriff.

Turnbull will take almost two years to clear the fine, however, after instalment­s were set at £15 a week.

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