A man who subjected his partner to a catalogue of horrific abuse discovered he was to be a dad during the court hearing.
John Torrie, 31, was on video link at Aberdeen Sheriff Court when it was disclosed that his victim is pregnant with his child – a fact he had not known about until today.
Over the course of 13 months, John Torrie, 31, regularly assaulted the woman and bullied her psychologically with vile taunts, such as urging her to take an overdose.
Torrie previously admitted a charge of engaging in a course of behaviour which was abusive of his partner or ex-partner between February 10 2020 and March 19 2021.
The offence took place at an address in the north-east and elsewhere.
Pair had a ‘toxic’ relationship
The 31-year-old, whose address was given in court papers as Brickfield Court, Stonehaven, also admitted assaulting a police officer by attempting to kick him on the head, and two charges of failing to comply with bail conditions.
Torrie appeared for sentencing from custody via a video link and his defence solicitor Tony Burgess told the court his client accepts “full responsibilty”.
Mr Burgess added: “Albeit there are aspects he can not recall – but he accepts the evidence.”
He said the relationship between the pair had been a “toxic” one.
And he asked that consideration be given to dealing with the matter with a non-custodial sentence.
He also said his client could benefit from the Caledonian programme – a scheme to help men convicted of domestic abuse change their behaviour.
Mr Burgess continued: “I have known him for some time. He seems to be on the cusp of realisation that something like the Caledonian programme could work for him. It seems genuine to me.”
Non-custodial sentence not appropriate
Sheriff Morag McLaughlin told Torrie: “I have listened to what’s been said, I’m not persuaded it’s appropriate to deal with this by way of a non-custodial disposal.”
While addressing the court about a non-harassment order fiscal depute Sean Ambrose said the victim felt “at risk” from Torrie and did not intend to have any “ongoing contact” with Torrie.
He also said she was pregnant with Torrie’s child.
Upon hearing this, Torrie said he had not known about the pregnancy and the case was adjourned for discussions with his solicitor.
When it recalled Mr Burgess said his client was not opposed to the non-harassment order, but added: “In light of information given to the court he is asking for third party contact in relation to child care issues.”
Torrie was jailed for a total of nine months and handed a non-harassment order for two years.
Torrie sent abusive messages
Among the incidents the court heard about was one on February 10 last year when an argument broke out between the pair and Torrie punched her to the head and face.
The relationship continued and the woman stayed at Torrie’s home overnight from September 11 into September 12. Torrie then went out and returned home “angry”, shouting and swearing about losing £450.
The court heard Torrie went on to assault her when she tried to leave the flat.
At one point the couple separated, but around a week later, Torrie began contacting the woman again via text.
Between February 18 and March 18 2021, he sent her “multiple abusive messages”.
He called her names and “told her to take an overdose and kill herself”.
Behaviour impacted victim’s mental health
The court was told Torrie’s behaviour significantly affected the woman’s mental health.
It was also said he would “follow” her whenever she left his flat, or call and text her to check where she was.
He would also often “tell her when to shower and would make comments about her clothes”.
And on March 19, the victim was looking at her phone when Torrie slapped it, causing it to strike her face. Scared something more serious was about to happen she fled.
Torrie then sent her 24 texts which were generally abusive and told her he had “called the police on her”.
At that point the woman contacted police herself.