A senior military doctor has walked free from court after he was found not guilty of a campaign of domestic bullying against his wife.
Lieutenant Colonel Simon Bloodworth went on trial at Perth Sheriff Court, accused of a course of controlling and coercive behaviour, including a threat to kill his family’s pet Chihuahua.
After three days of evidence, the 48-year-old was cleared of all charges.
The trial heard his wife Lisa Bloodworth had left the marital home in Invergordon in November 2019, telling her husband she was going to meet a friend.
The next morning, after she failed to return home, Bloodworth used an iPad tracker app to locate her car at a holiday resort in Aviemore.
He found the car in a hotel car park, and then followed it to a nearby supermarket, where he approached her and had a “difficult” but apparently amicable conversation.
After a fraught intervention-style meeting at her parents home, at which Bloodworth had threatened to “press the nuclear button” – meaning get a divorce – he drove back to his home in Invergordon, believing she would return the next day.
When she didn’t show, he made the 130-mile trip back to Blairgowrie and knocked on the family’s door.
When there was no response, he started to head back up the A9 but was called by police in Perth who asked him to stop for an interview.
‘Significant inconsistencies’ in evidence
Clearing him, Sheriff Neil Bowie told Bloodworth: “The primary matters that the complainer (Mrs Bloodworth) spoke to were the circumstances of her leaving from what was clearly an unhappy marriage.
“There were significant inconsistencies in Mrs Bloodworth’s evidence, particularly when contrasted with other witnesses.”
Referring to incidents in Aviemore and Blairgowrie, Sheriff Wood said: “The Crown must exclude beyond reasonable doubt that the conduct is reasonable in the circumstances.
“That, in my view, they have failed to do.”
Earlier, a senior social worker told the court she had dismissed Mrs Bloodworth’s claims she was being coercively controlled by her husband.
Gail Nichol-Andrews said she thought Lisa Bloodworth was being “disingenuous” when she told her about her troubled relationship during a meeting at her home.
Taking the witness stand on Monday, Bloodworth, of Invergordon, had admitted telling the family pet that he would take it out into the woods and shoot it.
He said it was “half in humour and half in frustration,” claiming “so many people threaten to kill their pets, without ever meaning to kill their pets.”
Bloodworth, who has served in Germany and Estonia, was accused of controlling Mrs Bloodworth, 51, engaging in a course of abusive behaviour towards his wife in Scotland and Germany between April 1 2019 and April 6 2020.