A domestic abuser who put a plastic bag over his lover’s head during a six-year reign of terror has avoided a prison sentence.
Robert Anderson, 42, appeared in the dock at Aberdeen Sheriff Court and admitted subjecting his former partner to a torrent of violent abuse that resulted in the woman suffering shocking injuries and being diagnosed with whiplash and concussion.
Anderson also physically abuse his partner while she was pregnant and later placed a plastic bag over the woman’s head a held it over her face.
He also put his foot on her neck leaving boot marks.
Anderson’s victim, who suffered abuse between August 1 2001 and November 19 2007, came forward in 2018 to report what happened to her.
She was 18 when the couple began their relationship, while Anderson was 22.
He pleaded guilty to assaulting the woman at three addresses in Aberdeen over a period of six years and nine months.
Accused left ‘boot marks’ on woman’s neck
The court heard how at an address in Jute Street, Aberdeen, Anderson bit the woman and drew blood and on another occasion dragged her into the bathroom and pushed her, causing her to “strike her head on the tiles”.
This caused a large “egg” to form on the woman’s head and a doctor later diagnosed her with concussion and whiplash.
It was also stated that some violent assaults took place at an address on Cloverfield Terrace, Aberdeen, while the woman was pregnant.
At a flat on Cairnforth Road, Aberdeen, in 2003, a physical argument ended with the woman on the floor and Anderson placing his foot on her neck – pushing until she could not breathe.
A family member later noted marks that looked like “boot marks” on her neck.
During an argument in around 2004 or 2005, the woman told police that Anderson placed a plastic bag over her head that left her “unable to breathe”.
Despite the incident only lasting a few seconds, the woman said that when she breathed in the bag went into her mouth and felt like it “lasted a lifetime”.
She also reported that Anderson punched and kicked her and made her fear for her life.
‘This was a toxic relationship’
Defence agent Craig Findlater described the relationship between Anderson, who now lives in Fife, and the woman as “toxic”.
But he stated that these incidents were distinct from Anderson’s “rather straightforward life”.
Mr Findlater told the court that Anderson – a father of five children – now has “a stable home life and has been in employment since leaving school”.
Sheriff Andrew Miller told Anderson that he had “considered the circumstances of these offences carefully”.
He added: “The various accounts of violent acts of abuse that you propagated against your partner are obviously of concern.
“Whilst recognising the serious nature of these offences, I also need to recognise that you were 22 at the time.
“It also, without excusing this conduct, seems specifically to be particular to this relationship.
“I note also that you have stable personal circumstances and steady work circumstances and a custodial sentence would have a significant impact on your family.”
As an alternative to a prison sentence, Sheriff Miller sentenced Anderson, of Cunzie Street, Anstruther, Fife, to two years probation and ordered him to take part in a two-year domestic abuse programme.
He also ordered Anderson to carry out 180 hours of unpaid work.
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