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Woman feared being killed by Perthshire boyfriend as ‘red mist’ descended on drive home

Kevin Nicoll subjected his partner to a campaign of cruelty spanning more than two years.

Kevin Nicol
Kevin Nicoll went on trial at Perth Sheriff Court. Image: Facebook.

An abusive boyfriend who subjected his partner to a campaign of cruelty spanning more than two years has been handed a community sentence.

Kevin Nicoll’s ex-girlfriend described how she thought he was going to kill them both when a “red mist” descended as he drove her home.

Perth Sheriff Court heard how he had berated and belittled her during a trip to the shops because he did not approve of her purchases.

On another occasion, the woman had to duck when he hurled a glass tumbler towards her.

He also smashed up a mobile phone she had gifted to him, after he was questioned about the amount of time he spent online chatting to other women.

Kevin Nicoll appeared at Perth Sheriff Court

Former garage boss Nicoll denied the abuse, complaining to the court: “I’m being painted as the bad guy”.

But at the end of a protracted trial that began in January, the 50-year-old was found guilty of engaging in a course of abusive conduct between December 1 2020 and January 31 2023.

Flew into a rage on Hogmanay night

The complainer, 44, told the court she had been in an on-off relationship with Nicoll from September 2020 to January 2023.

She said he suddenly became angry during a Hogmanay evening at her Blairgowrie home in 2020.

“I don’t know what sparked him off.

“I got up to leave the room and he threw a glass at my head. I ducked and it hit the living room door.”

Kevin Nicol
Kevin Nicoll denied being the ‘bad guy’ during his trial at Perth Sheriff Court.

Nicoll then pursued her upstairs and pushed the back of her neck as she climbed the steps.

She said she was “catapulted” and fell back onto the spindle of the staircase, causing her to cry out in pain.

When police arrived later, she told them she accidently slipped.

Asked why she had not told officers the truth, she replied: “To protect him. I loved him. That’s all I can say.”

‘Shaking with rage’

Giving evidence from behind a screen, she said that in summer 2021, Nicoll had erupted at her while shopping at The Stack retail park in Dundee.

She said he grabbed and shook her and told her she was “useless” and “pathetic”.

She ran into a nearby shop to get away but returned to him after failing to arrange a lift home from her friend.

Stack Retail park
An argument spiralled after a shopping trip to the Stack retail park.

On the drive back, Nicoll twice told his girlfriend that he could kill them both.

She told the court she believed him.

“He was shouting constantly that it was my fault that I had made him get angry.

“I was worried that he was actually going to do something.

“He had this look in his eyes, like a red mist had come down.”

She told him: “I need to be alive for my children.”

When he dropped her at home and drove off, he was “shaking with rage,” she said.

Smashed up mobile phone

On another occasion in July 2022, Nicoll smashed up the mobile phone his partner had bought him after she said to him: “I’m not paying for a phone for you, if you’re going to sit there speaking to other women on it.”

After shattering the mobile on the back doorstep, he threw his partner’s trainers and keys into a neighbouring garden.

Later, he punched through her glass front door as he left.

“Some glass hit my nose, chest and feet,” she said. “There was glass all over the floor.”

She told how blood began dripping from the cut on her nose as she tried to sweep up the damage.

The relationship ended in January 2023, following a row about the amount of time Nicoll was on social media, the woman told the court.

‘I’m being painted as the bad guy’

Nicoll repeatedly told his trial the relationship was a “two way streak” and said: “We’re both as bad as each other.”

He admitted throwing her clothes into a neighbour’s garden and twice hurling the mobile phone she bought him against a wall “in a rage”.

Perth Sheriff Court
Perth Sheriff Court. Image: DC Thomson

Nicoll also admitted driving “maybe slightly harder but not dangerously” after the argument at The Stack.

“If she felt threatened she could have said to me to stop and I would have let her out of the car,” he said.

Nicoll told the court his partner was filling up the trolley at Aldi with booze and cigarettes.

The fiscal depute pointed out that Aldi does not sell cigarettes.

He also claimed he was attacked by the woman and left with bruises and broken glasses.

“I’m being pre-judged here,” he told the court.

“I’m being painted as the bad guy beating up a wee woman. It’s not like that.”

Sheriff McKay acquitted Nicoll of allegations he assaulted his partner in late 2022, by jumping on top of her, repeatedly striking her on the body and biting her nose.

He was further cleared of seizing her by the body on June 14 2023 after being challenged about alleged infidelity.

The sheriff told him: “Where I have any doubt regarding what happened, I have given you the benefit of the doubt.”

Nicoll, of Fairfield Avenue, was ordered to carry out 150 hours unpaid work.

He was ordered to stay away from his ex as part of a six-month non-harassment order.

  • This article has been amended to include allegations over which Nicoll was originally charged but ultimately acquitted.