A former soldier has blamed his £1,500 a week cocaine habit for a campaign of abuse against his ex-girlfriend.
Kristopher Knight, 26, appeared in the dock at Aberdeen Sheriff Court and admitted issuing threats and sending abusive messages to his former partner after she ended the relationship.
The Inverurie man also said he would burn down the woman’s home and her father’s workshop, telling her he would “hit her where it hurt”.
In another message, Knight told her she would “regret accusing me ever again” and “play with fire and you’re going to get burned”.
Aberdeen Sheriff Court was told that at the time he was abusing cocaine and alcohol to deal with his “demons and trauma” from his time in the military.
However, a report into the former soldier stated that he displayed “minimisation and justification thinking” when he told social workers his ex “gave as good as she got”.
Knight pleaded guilty to one charge of behaving in an abusive manner towards his former partner between October 1, 2019 and January 3, 2020.
Fiscal depute Carol Gammie told the court that following the breakdown of the couple’s relationship, Knight sent her a succession of messages via the social media platform WhatsApp where he threatened the woman.
He also made threats to “break every bone” in her brother’s body and go “hunting” for him.
Ms Gammie told the court that the couple briefly rekindled their relationship at the end of 2019, however, the woman reported feeling that “deep-down things were not quite right” and later ended things on December 8.
She said: “He left the flat but shortly after sent a video to her of him driving and saying ‘run Forrest run’ and that he was on his way back.
“This scared the woman and she blocked his number and social media.”
At a later date, Knight followed this former partner home and repeatedly buzzed her flat’s intercom system.
When she moved home he sent her an email saying he knew where she now lived and threatened the woman’s father and brother saying he would “destroy” them.
He told her to get in touch “before he thought of his next move”.
Ms Gammie said: “She felt threatened and called the accused to ask why he was doing this to her.
“He told her he wanted to get back with her and when he was told that that simply would not work out he again became aggressive, saying that he would set her house and her dad’s workshop –attached to his house – on fire.
“He said she would ‘learn the hard way’ if she ignored him.”
Sheriff said he would be ‘justified’ in sending accused to prison
Defence agent Liam McAllister told the court that Knight had issues with his mental health at the time of these offences.
He added that his client had been abusing drugs and alcohol during this period.
“He has now moved on and has begun the long process of dealing with his issues”, Mr McAllister said.
“Mr Knight wasn’t getting the help he needed for his post-traumatic stress disorder and in this instance, his behaviour has been highly unacceptable.
“He is now dealing with the demons and trauma that he has been through and I’m asking the court to accept that the man standing in court now is not the same man.”
Sheriff Graeme Napier told the 26-year old that his behaviour during this period was “absolutely disgraceful”.
He added: “There is no excuse for treating someone who you are in a relationship within that way.
“I would have been justified in sending you to prison today, but I’m not going to do that.”
Sheriff Napier sentenced Knight, of Gordon Avenue, Inverurie, to a community payback order with two years of supervision and made a six-month restriction of liberty order.
He also put a non-harassment order in place meaning Knight cannot approach his former partner for one year.
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