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Domestic abuser from Moray jailed for 15 months

By Ali Morrison

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An Elgin man has been jailed for subjecting a young mum to weeks of "terrifying" domestic abuse.

Blaine McKenzie threatened to stab the woman in her neck with a broken bottle and also attempted to throw her out of a window.

Inverness Sheriff Court heard previously that the 29-year-old's campaign of terror began shortly after he began seeing the woman in May.

Although from Elgin, he began living at her Inverness home.

Sheriff Sara Matheson deferred sentence last month for a background report after McKenzie admitted domestic abuse and assault.

In addition, he also pleaded guilty to three breaches of bail, as well as refusing to provide the police with a specimen of breath.

Jailing him for 15 months, backdated to August 30, Sheriff Matheson said it was because of the repeated nature and extent of the abuse.

She added: "The events must have been terrifying for your partner."

One incident occurred in early July as McKenzie was travelling to Forres.

During the journey, an argument developed about how he was driving.

Mackenzie stopped the car and ordered her to get out.

Fiscal depute Martina Eastwood said: "She started to walk towards Forres and he threw his keys into a field.

"He then wanted her to return to help him find them, threatening to throw himself off the nearby Findhorn Bridge if she did not."

Mrs Eastwood said the woman managed to get a taxi to her mother's home in Forres.

He then turned up, banging on the door, and shouting and swearing.

The police were called and he was arrested.

Then, on July 15, McKenzie punched the woman in the ribs, said Mrs Eastwood.

He apologised and attempted to cuddle her.

But she stopped him, saying he wouldn't get away with it.

In response he punched her again then locked her in her bedroom.

On August 20, the court heard McKenzie turned up again at the Inverness property, climbing in through a kitchen window.

He then prevented her from leaving her bedroom.

Mrs Eastwood said he smashed a bottle off the bed, threatened to stab her in the neck, punched her in the eye, struck her with a key, then tried to pick her up and throw her out a window.

The woman who sustained cuts and bruises, managed to get away and phone the police.

On August 28, McKenzie sent a number of texts, then drove from Elgin to confront the woman at her mother's home in Forres.

Initially he had wanted to be driven there in a friend's car.

But McKenzie changed his mind and decided he would drive the vehicle himself.

The friend refused and was punched several times in the head and had a screwdriver pointed at him.

Ultimately, McKenzie took his own car.

However he was stopped en route by the police.

Suspecting he was drunk, the officers asked for a breath specimen, but McKenzie refused to co-operate.

Mrs Eastwood added that even while on remand in prison, McKenzie wrote letters to his partner in breach of a bail condition.

Defence solicitor Iain Maltman said his client had been receiving help for mental health issues but that was interupted during last year's lockdown.

"He is now improving." the lawyer added.

In addition to his jail sentence, McKenzie was also banned from driving for 14 months.

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