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Woman was left 'petrified' by behaviour of former partner in Tain, court told

By Court Reporter

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A TAIN resident with a record of abusing women has been put on a community payback order and ordered to undertake various behaviour and support programmes following his latest conviction.

Stephen Hollis (46), Craig Crescent, assaulted his former partner at his home around 8.45am on Sunday, April 5. He was thought to have drunk “a lot of vodka” the previous evening and taken a sedative.

Prosecutor Roderick Urquhart told Tain Sheriff Court: “He seemed to be intoxicated. He was laughing and suggesting that perhaps he had given something to the dog. He pushed his partner, causing her to fall and strike her arm on the dining room table and knocking over a chair in the process.”

The woman, whose arm was bruised, called police and told an officer that she was “petrified of the accused and scared something else would happen”.

Defence agent Rory Gowans acknowledged Hollis had a record for this type of behaviour but said he had been unable to stick to a domestic abuse programme imposed by another court because of the death of his parents in quick succession. The lawyer added that Hollis had a number of health difficulties including anxiety, depression, agoraphobia, paranoia and, at times, an alcohol problem. He had moved to Tain to make a fresh start and had known his former partner for years, but it was a 'short-lived and volatile relationship'.

Mr Gowans pointed out that his client had admitted the assault charge at the earliest opportunity and asked that he be given a community sentence.

Sheriff Gary Aitken ordered Hollis to be under social work supervision for two years and attend addiction, mental health and domestic abuse programmes as well as bereavement counselling.

The sheriff said: “Your record does you little favour nor do the circumstances of this offence. It is quite clear that you have issues in your life that you need to address for you own and everyone else’s good."

The sheriff granted a non-harassment order banning Hollis from contacting his former partner.

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