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Husband admits racial abuse towards wife who he claims ‘used him’ for visa

The outside of Tain Sheriff court.
The husband admitted racial abuse of his wife at Tain Sherrif Court

A husband who used racial abuse towards his wife was upset because he felt she had used him to gain a visa, a court has heard.

Michael Munro used an offensive term towards his wife, threw his glasses at her and swung his crutches at her as their relationship deteriorated.

He also left comments on her Facebook page claiming that she was “a con” and he was “the idiot that fell for it”.

Munro, 55, was not present at a sentencing hearing at Tain Sheriff Court having previously admitted racially-aggravated threatening or abusive behaviour as well as a subsequent breach of bail conditions preventing him from contacting his wife.

The charges related to incidents in 2020 and 2021.

Wife subjected to racial abuse

Fiscal depute Hilary Michopoulou told the court that Munro had shouted racial abuse at the woman while she was cutting the grass in their garden, as well as swinging his crutches at her.

During another incident he threw his glasses at her.

The court heard that on one occasion Munro became angry when she was printing out a job application, and on another demanded he be allowed to see her payslips.

One incident was sparked when “the complainer suggested to the accused that they tell Highland Council that she was living with the accused”.

“The accused became angry about this,” Mrs Michopoulou told the court.

It was after this incident that the woman made a complaint to police and Munro was arrested.

“He said all their arguments were financial,” the court heard.

Mrs Michopoulou said that, when interviewed, Munro had admitted the use of the racial slur but claimed: “It was something that they would joke about together.”

Husband made ‘visa con’ claim

Following his arrest Munro breached bail conditions barring him from contacting his wife by leaving comments on photos on her Facebook profile.

One comment called her “a con” while another said:  “This woman conned people into marriage to gain a visa into UK and I’m the idiot that fell for it.”

Solicitor Cecily Kingston for Munro said her client was disabled and ‘vulnerable’ following a leg amputation.

Ms Kingston explained that the relationship between the pair had been formalised by marriage at an early stage.

She said: “He instructed and paid for the service of an immigration lawyer.

“Certainly it does seem that this created a somewhat toxic dynamic.”

The solicitor explained that the racial comments made were “part of a crude dynamic between the pair”.

“He accepts that his comments were unacceptable,” she added.

Sheriff Gary Aitken fined Munro, of Teaninich Street, Alness, £420 and placed him on a community payback order with 12 months supervision.

He also made a non-harassment order for the same period, barring Munro from contacting the woman.

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