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Abusive Perth boyfriend who bit and spat at exes is training to become airline pilot

Samuel Murphy

A sheriff has questioned the career choice of a trainee airline pilot who “became hysterical” and bit his ex-girlfriends during a 16-month campaign of erratic abusive behaviour.

Samuel Murphy told one partner that he would kill himself if she left him, while another girlfriend was forced to rescue him from the window ledge of his two-storey Perth home.

She described a follow-up suicide threat as “some form of control”.

Samuel Murphy

Murphy, 22, of Kinnoull Street, appeared at Perth Sheriff Court and admitted two counts of engaging in a course of behaviour which was abusive towards his then-partners at locations in Perth and Perthshire between November 2019 and May 2020, and between June 2020 and January this year.

It emerged during the hearing that Murphy is now in training to become a pilot in Austria.

Career in jeopardy

Sheriff William Wood told him: “You are a young man who comes before the court for the first time.

“You are clearly a young man with considerable promise.

“But you really do put your career in jeopardy if you don’t grow up and get hold of yourself.”

Congratulations to Fast Track student Samuel Murphy on completing his solo Qualifying Cross Country flight today as part of his training towards his Private Pilots Licence (PPL) #acspilot2020

Posted by ACS Flight Training on Sunday, 30 August 2020

He said: “I have some concerns about whether you are temperamentally suited for your chosen career, but that is a decision for others to make and others to take once all the appropriate investigations have been carried out.

“It is hoped that this is just a blip and you won’t come to the attention of the courts again.”

Sheriff Wood issued a non-harassment order, banning Murphy from contacting both women for three years.

Murphy was also placed on a supervision order for 18 months.

Bit girlfriend after mobile phone pics found

Fiscal depute Andrew Harding described a series of incidents involving Murphy and the two ex-girlfriends.

On one occasion, he threatened suicide after his partner questioned him about his alleged infidelity.

Another time, he pulled back his hand as if to strike her. “It was a clenched fist, raised to her face,” said Mr Harding.

On another occasion in February, Murphy was driving with his girlfriend when she noticed photos of other women stored on his mobile.

“She challenged the accused about this,” Mr Harding said. “The accused stopped the car immediately, pulled into a layby and they began to argue.

“The accused grabbed and bit the arm of the complainer.

“The bite did not break the skin, but it was sore and caused swelling.”

Perth Sheriff Court
Perth Sheriff Court.

Mr Harding said: “The complainer felt that, given the accused’s state, she should drive the rest of the way.

“When they arrived at accused’s address, he began to shout at the complainer.

“She tried to ignore the accused, but he was screaming and shouting.”

The charge states that Murphy “became hysterical” and “lost his temper.”

In May 2020, Murphy struck his girlfriend on the body with his leg while he was sitting next to her on a sofa.

“This caused her to fall to the ground,” said Mr Harding. “The accused stood up and started spitting in the direction of the complainer.”

After that, the relationship ended and the woman blocked Murphy on social media.

Rescued from window ledge

Murphy entered into a new relationship just weeks later, the court heard.

Mr Harding said that in July last year, Murphy’s new girlfriend was staying with him at this two-storey flat.

“She left the living room briefly to get ready for bed,” said Mr Harding.

“She heard a thump from the living room. She found that the accused had opened the living room window wide open and he was standing on the ledge outside.

“The complainer went to pull him back in and shut the window.”

Mr Harding told that in August, Murphy tried to bite his girlfriend on her arms and hands when she tried to stop him hitting himself.

“The accused did not break the skin,” he said.

“He then threatened to throw himself out of the window again, but he didn’t attempt to do so.

“The complainer thought that this was some form of control.”

Very apologetic

The court heard that on October 11, Murphy threw a glass towards his girlfriend.

“She moved out of the way and it smashed off the way,” said Mr Harding.

“The complainer tried to go to bed, but the accused shouted: ‘No you’re f***ing not’.

“He pushed her down on the bed and began biting her on the knees. She had ripped jeans at the time.

“Again, he did not break the skin.

“The complainer later advised the accused that she was going to contact the police. The accused was very apologetic.”

Solicitor Paul Ralph: “All in all, he has a lot of pieces to pick up and he has to prove himself.

“The offending is unpleasant as a course of conduct, and it is the kind of thing that if left unchecked, who knows where it could go.”