Domestic abuser’s appeal thrown out

© DC Thomson
Dundee Sheriff Court

A cowardly domestic abuser who dodged jail and tried to have his unpaid work sentence overturned has had his appeal thrown out.

Stephen Ingram, 32, was found guilty by jury after standing trial for the assault of his former partner Melissa Edgar at an address in Kingsway East in December 2016.

Ingram claimed he was not at the premises and the court was told his voice could be heard not because he was in the flat carrying out an assault, but because his victim had called him while her phone was hooked up to a loudspeaker.

Ms Edgar was found by neighbours with a red face, puffy eyes and her nose “bashed up”.

Brazen Ingram appealed against his conviction saying there was insufficient evidence he could be identified at being in the house at the time of the offence.

In an odd twist, Ms Edgar told the court Ingram had not assaulted her and instead blamed the disturbance on an angry phone call broadcast on loudspeaker via a smartphone and a television.

She said she called Ingram in an angry state, appalled he had apparently travelled to Newcastle to go socialising without her.

Her phone, she said, was paired to an amplified sound bar on her television.

She told the court the sound of him speaking could be heard in the flat as “it was broadcast through the television loud speaker”.

After the angry call, Ms Edgar said she “blundered” into her children’s room, who had become upset at the shouting and tripped on some toys, falling on her nose.

Ms Edgar’s evidence was, “unusually”, rejected by the Crown, who instead heard the combined evidence of the witnesses who heard a disturbance and heard
the victim screaming, both in fear and for help.

The court heard Maureen Baker, who lived in the flat immediately below Ms Edgar’s and Ryan McCallum — another neighbour — attended the flat after being alerted to a disturbance.

Mr McCallum could be heard “pounding” on Ms Edgar’s door, shouting: “He is battering her.”

Further to this, Ms Edgar could be heard shouting from a bathroom window to Mr McCallum, asking him to help her.

Maureen Baker recorded some of the incident on her phone and police then arrived.

When they did, the court heard police noticed the house looked like it had been the scene of a disturbance, with drawers out of place and a mattress of its base.

The police officers also “formed the view” Ms Edgar had been struck in the face and recognised the driver of a red car who “rapidly” left the scene once the police arrived as Ingram.

Evidence given by the neighbours and by police was ruled sufficient by the Crown to entitle the jury to infer Ms Edgar had been assaulted, which they did.

The Crown noted if the evidence from other witnesses had not been sufficient, Ingram would have been acquitted.

Ingram, of Baldovie Terrace, was convicted by jury on indictment to a charge of behaving in a threatening and abusive manner likely to cause fear and alarm and a second charge of assault by striking Melissa Edgar on the face.

Both offences were committed while Ingram was on bail.

Sheriff George Way sentence Ingram to 12 months supervision, 200 hours of unpaid work and an eight month restriction of liberty order between the hours of 8pm and 6am.