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Royal Navy submariner spat in wife’s face during months of abuse in Fife

Submariner Gary Booth will not lose his Navy job, the court was told.
Submariner Gary Booth will not lose his Navy job, the court was told.

A Royal Navy submarine engineer spat in his wife’s face and threatened to disclose intimate images of her during months of abuse in Fife.

Gary Booth admitted engaging in a course of behaviour, which also involved shouting and swearing at her, accessing her social media accounts without her permission and threatening to disclose details of an intimate nature to her employer.

Court papers state the offending took place between December 15 2020 and June 15 2021.

Booth, 37, formerly of Cairneyhill but now living in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, appeared in the dock at Dunfermline Sheriff Court for sentencing.

Spitting assault

Procurator fiscal depute Lauren Pennycook told the court there was an argument between the couple in March last year, in which Booth called his wife “fat” and “ugly” and stated she was a “disappointment to her parents.”

Submarine engineer Gary Booth.

Miss Pennycook said: “Mrs Booth was sat at the end of the bed and the accused stood in front of her.

“Mr Booth approached Mrs Booth and spat directly in her face.

“Mr Booth then got into bed without acknowledging what happened and Mrs Booth thereafter left the bedroom.”

Defence lawyer Stephen Morrison said his client later stated, when charged with the spitting offence, there was water in his mouth at the time but also accepts there was saliva in it.

Facebook stalking

Miss Pennycook said after the couple separated, Mrs Booth entered a casual relationship with a work colleague and messages were exchanged between them on Facebook.

In June last year, Mrs Booth received a message from her husband making it clear he knew about the relationship and sent screenshots of conversations between them.

Gary Booth.

The fiscal depute said the only way for Booth to have obtained these screenshots would have been to log into her Facebook account and search through conversations.

Miss Pennycook said: “Mr Booth then stated he had screenshots of everything.”

The court heard that four days later, Booth phoned his wife and called her a “slut” and threatened her.

Police were then contacted.

13 years in Navy

Defence lawyer Mr Morrison said Booth has been in the Navy for about 13 years as a submarine engineer.

Mr Morrison said the Navy is fully aware of this case and any disciplinary action will be determined afterwards, adding: “He will not be dismissed.”

He said Booth is “not proud of his behaviour” but his client claims his wife was unfaithful while they were still married.

The solicitor said the pair had been together for ten years and married for six and Booth found the separation difficult.

He is now in a new relationship.

The court heard Booth had no previous convictions other than a road traffic matter from 18 years ago.

Ordered to stay away from ex-wife

Sheriff Alison Michie told him: “The offence to which you pled guilty was a serious matter occurring over many months.”

Booth was sentenced to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work and was placed under offender supervision for 12 months.

A non-harassment order was also made not to approach his wife for two years.

Booth admitted engaging in a course of behaviour which was abusive of his former partner by shouting and swearing at her, accessing her social media accounts without her permission, threatening to disclose details of an intimate nature to her employer, threatening to disclose intimate images of her, and repeatedly spitting in her face.

The offending is contrary to the Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act 2018.

The Royal Navy has been approached for comment.

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