Highland domestic abuser faces jail

Inverness Sheriff Court

A man who abused his former girlfriend and then began stalking her after she started a new relationship has been warned he should expect a “significant” jail sentence.

John Mitchell, 37, yesterday admitted five charges, including assault, stalking Lisa Milne and culpable and reckless conduct.

Inverness Sheriff Court heard Mitchell, 37, and Ms Milne – who is now married and known as MacDiarmid – were in a relationship between November 2009 and March 2014, and moved to an address in Fort Augustus.

Fiscal depute Roderick Urquhart said Mrs MacDiarmid and Mitchell had been bickering during a barbeque in 2010 and she suffered a cut eyebrow when he recklessly swung a bag with a glass bottle and it struck her on the head.

The court heard that later that year Mitchell behaved in an abusive and threatening manner by throwing a glass at a mirror and furniture around the house after another argument.

Mr Urquhart added: “The couple moved into a house in Abertarf Place in December, 2010, and in early May 2011 he pushed Ms Milne so hard into a table.

“Around April 2014, he threw a mobile phone at her, striking her in the stomach, telling her mother ‘tell her to stop moaning’ or ‘stop pushing my buttons’.”

The court was also told of other incidents not involving Ms Milne where he would “go mental” and throw things about their house.

After the couple split and Ms Milne started a relationship with her now husband, Mr Urquhart said he repeatedly contacted her by phone, text and social media, sometimes “two or three times a day”.

Sentence on Mitchell, of Ambleside Terrace, Kirkton, Dundee, was deferred until April 3 for background reports.

But Sheriff Gordon Fleetwood told him: “I find it hard to consider anything other than a significant custodial sentence given your record and the sustained behaviour.”