An Angus domestic abuser slammed by a sheriff for a worrying “pattern of behaviour” has avoided jail despite a New Year attack on his partner.
Instead, Donald Milne has been made the subject of a one-year non harassment order and must carry out unpaid work as part of the punishment for offences which also included a breach of a previously imposed community payback order.
Milne, 46, of Kemsley Park, Forfar appeared for sentence before Sheriff Derek Reekie at the town’s sheriff court, having previously admitted assaulting his former partner on January 2 last year, and breaching bail by repeatedly contacting her by text.
Depute fiscal Jill Drummond told the court the couple had been in a relationship for around two years when the 2017 incident happened in the early hours after a party at their home in Kirkton Park, Forfar.
Both parties had been drinking, and began arguing at around 2.30am.
“The accused pushed the complainer against a cupboard and she hit her head,” said the fiscal. “She feared he was going to kick off and scratched both sides of his face and he then headbutted her to the forehead.”
Although the matter was not reported at the time, police subsequently became involved.
The court heard that the breach of bail had involved regular texting, but that had been with the consent of the complainer.
Defence solicitor Brian Bell said the relationship was now completely over.
“These are serious matters and he understands that,” said Mr Bell.
Sheriff Reekie told Milne: “This was a very serious assault.
“You seemed to disagree with a family arrangement and to respond to that by headbutting your partner is really quite awful conduct.
“I’m concerned to note that this is your third domestic conviction and it seems to be a recent pattern of behaviour.
“As a direct alternative to custody I intend to impose a Community Payback Order.”
Milne must also carry out 180 hours unpaid work within six months and take part in the Fergus programme for domestic offenders.