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Controlling and violent Stonehaven domestic abuser jailed

Alexander McFarlane, 28, repeatedly punched and headbutted the woman and controlled all aspects of her life, including what she could eat and when she could sleep. 

Stonehaven domestic abuser Alexander McFarlane outside Aberdeen Sheriff Court
Alexander McFarlane admitted a series of violent domestic assaults on his partner. Image: DC Thomson.

A controlling and violent boyfriend who made “multiple” threats to kill his partner has been jailed.

Alexander McFarlane, from Stonehaven, repeatedly punched and headbutted the woman over almost four years and controlled all aspects of her life, including what she could eat and when she could sleep.

On one occasion the 28-year-old told her: “I want to push part of the hoover into your skull until it breaks and dump your body at the bottom of the stairs.”

The woman later told police McFarlane is “unable to control his rage”.

Stonehaven domestic abuser controlled woman’s sleep pattern

Fiscal depute Kirsty Martin told Aberdeen Sheriff Court that throughout the couple’s relationship, McFarlane controlled many aspects of his partner’s life.

As well as keeping a tight rein on her finances, he also dedicated what she was allowed to eat and even her sleep pattern, only allowing her to sleep between certain hours.

The woman told police that on “multiple occasions” McFarlane threatened to kill her, stating that he would “like to smash her skull in”.

He also said he would like to injure her head using a variety of tools, Ms Martin said.

The fiscal depute told the court: “These incidents caused her fear as she believed he might do it.”

McFarlane’s partner added that after April 2019 there were at least four occasions when he had choked her.

On another occasion, McFarlane flew into a fury when she said something about a game he was playing and headbutted her three times to the forehead.

This caused her to fall back onto the bed where McFarlane then climbed on top of her and started choking her, restricting her breathing.

She said he then stopped and began punching her instead.

McFarlane struck partner with set of scales

Later that year, she said McFarlane told her: “I want to push part of the hoover into your skull until it breaks and dump your body at the bottom of the stairs”.

The woman said she was terrified as she thought McFarlane was going to “seriously hurt her,” Ms Martin said.

On June 19 2020, the woman attended Aberdeen Royal Infirmary due to a split in her nose, caused by McFarlane headbutting her.

He attended with the woman, and they told NHS staff that she had had an accident.

On September 24 2022, McFarlane flew into another rage, punching the woman and striking her across the body with a set of weighing scales.

Ms Martin said: “Up to the point of reporting matters to the police, the witness had suffered numerous headbuttings and had been punched in the body and arms on a number of occasions.”

McFarlane also punched the woman in the stomach on several occasions during February last year after becoming “angry about something”.

Neighbour called police

On one of these occasions, the woman ran screaming for help into the hallway of the building.

A neighbour looked out and saw McFarlane pin the distressed woman down on the landing and called the police, who found the woman “visibly sobbing” with bruises to her stomach.

McFarlane was interviewed by police where he made a number of admissions in relation to domestic abuse, including throwing objects at her, making threats to kill her and repeatedly assaulting her to the head and body.

In the dock, McFarlane pleaded guilty to one charge of engaging in a course of abusive behaviour and assault that would cause injury and permanent disfigurement between April 2019 and February 2023.

Stonehaven domestic abuser Alexander McFarlane being lead out of court
Alexander McFarlane was led away to prison after he admitted a series of violent domestic assaults on his partner. Image: DC Thomson.

Describing this as an “unusual case”, defence solicitor Michael Burnett stated that despite the physical and mental abuse carried by his client, the couple plan to continue their relationship whatever the outcome.

He added that his client had had a difficult upbringing and that his behaviour was “borne from his having a troubled childhood”.

“That does not provide him with a defence for his behaviour but more of an excuse,” McFarlane’s solicitor said.

“My client understands that a custodial sentence will be at the forefront of the court’s mind.”

Sheriff Ian Wallace informed McFarlane, of Brickfield Court, Stonehaven, that his conduct was of “such a serious nature” that only a custodial sentence was appropriate.

He jailed McFarlane for 16 months and put a non-harassment order in place, meaning he can not approach his partner for three years.

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