A domestic abuser who brought misery to his former partners was jailed by a judge who called him a bully and a wife-beater.
Stephen Lynch, 34, was sentenced at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court to two years in prison for a campaign of violence spanning 14 years.
Police officer’s son and body builder Lynch targeted the four women during relationships in which violence became the norm.
He threw a glass bottle at one of his victims, hitting her in the face, pushed his thumb into the eye of another and squeezed one by the throat so hard she struggled to breath.
Lynch, of Winifred Crescent, Kirkcaldy, was convicted by a jury of assaulting the women to their injury, one of them severely, at his home and addresses in Kirkcaldy’s Massereene Road, Blackcraigs, Raith Gardens and Cheviot Road, Turpie Road, Leven, Balbirnie Gym, Glenrothes, Wemyss Bay Caravan Park, Argyle, and elsewhere.
Sheriff McCulloch told him: “You are an abuser, a bully, a wife beater.
“The jury heard from four witnesses who told of the violence and misery you gave to them over a period of years yet they loved you and stayed with you for more until it became too much for them.”
He said Lynch, previously subject to a community payback order, had a record for violence against partners, with the nature and extent of violence increasing over time.
There was a pattern during his relationships, the sheriff said, in which all would be well to begin with and “slowly things turned for the worse and violence became the norm”.
Lynch repeatedly punched Karen Walkup, head butted her, squeezed her throat, pushed his thumb into her eye and pinned her head against a car window, injuring her severely during abuse which took place over 11 months in 2013.
He compressed Jillian Walker’s throat so tightly she struggled to breath, repeatedly pinned her down and straddled her, pushed her against a cupboard and staircase and seized her by the hair with his hand and mouth.
She was targeted repeatedly between June 2000 and August 2002.
Lynch then moved on to Sally Mercer, who was his victim for six years until August 2008, repeatedly seizing her by the hair and body.
He also seized her face, piercing the skin, threw a glass bottle at her which hit her on the face, pushed her so she fell and hit her face against a toilet seat and struck her face with the back of his hand.
Lynch threatened to kill Ashley Smith, who he abused over four years from October 2008, repeatedly punching, slapping and kicking her, seizing her by the throat and hair and throwing household objects at her.
He maintained his innocence and his current partner was said to have stood by him, but he was remanded in custody before his sentencing on Friday due to concern for her safety.
Defence solicitor Alistair Burleigh said there appeared to be nothing to explain Lynch’s behaviour.
There was no history of drug abuse, he said, although he did start drinking after he stopped working due to health difficulties.
Mr Burleigh said: “Prior to that he appeared to have a stable life and work.”
A non-harassment order was also made preventing Lynch from approaching or attempting to approach the victims for five years.
* For more on this story, including a harrowing interview with a relative of one of Lynch’s victims, pick up Saturday’s Fife edition of The Courier, also available as a digital edition.