Carnoustie thug put woman in chokehold in front of child

Dundee Sheriff Court
Dundee Sheriff Court

An “intelligent” thug who battered a woman in front of a young child and told the lad “I’m giving her a hug” as he put her in a chokehold then ripped out chunks of her hair was today (Friday) told he faces jail.

Robert Shand launched the brutal attack on the woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, at an address in Carnoustie last November.

Shand first banged the woman’s head off a wall before putting her in a headlock - causing her to struggle to breathe.

This took place in front of an “extremely upset” primary school-aged boy.

Brutal Shand told the lad: “I’m giving her a hug.”

Fiscal depute Saima Rasheed told Dundee Sheriff Court that Shand then left the house - but returned and restarted the attack.

At one point he wrenched a phone from her hand as she spoke to a 999 operator before pulling “several clumps” of hair out of her head.

Miss Rasheed said: “He grabbed her by the face and repeatedly struck her head against a wardrobe.

“The child began to cry again which made the accused stop.

“At this stage, police officers arrived in response to calls made by both the complainer and a neighbour.

“The accused fled through the back door.

“Officers entered the property. There were signs of a disturbance within and the complainer and her child were both crying and emotional.

“She noticeably had clumps of hair missing from her head.

“The officers tried to trace the accused but were unable to find him.

“A neighbour was also traced. At the time of the assault she heard the complainer shouting at the accused to ‘get off her’ and heard the accused shouting ‘I’m gonna put your head in.”

“She also heard the complainer shouting ‘someone call the police’.

“The neighbour told the police she felt really frightened for the woman and her children.”

Shand (35), of Ravensby Road, Carnoustie, pleaded guilty on indictment

Defence advocate Neil Beardmore said: “This is an intelligent, articulate, responsible man who holds a degree in computer network engineering and was studying for a masters, though didn’t complete it.

“I don’t understand what on earth he has got himself into.

“It seems alcohol and a bad relationship have been his downfall.”

Sheriff Alastair Carmichael deferred sentence until next month for a report on Shand’s suitability for an electronic tag as an alternative to jail.

He said: “Your previous convictions and this behaviour puts you squarely in the territory of a custodial sentence.

“I’m leaving open all options at present.

“You have had community sentences before and they don’t seem to have made a difference.”