Domestic abuser facing years in jail

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A serial domestic abuser who claimed to be a double murderer and told his cancer survivor victim how to go about killing people and subjected another woman to a brutal Christmas Day knife attack was today (Wednesday) facing years in jail.

Andrew Hutcheson subjected three women to a litany of abuse spanning around 20 years. The offences took place at addresses in Arbroath between 1995 and 2015.

One victim had a knife held to her throat in front of her children. Another was subjected to months of threats - with Hutcheson even sending multiple messages to her work threatening to blow up the shop she worked in.

A third - who was recovering from breast cancer at the time - had a knife held at her throat as Hutcheson told her “that’s where I got that guy, right there” while he claimed to have murdered someone with a blade.

He admitted a series of abuse charges and was warned he faces a lengthy prison sentence.

Fiscal depute Vicki Bell told Dundee Sheriff Court that he lived with his first victim for almost 12 years - and had abused her for 10 of those years with the family often barricading their door to try and keep him out.

She said: “He was described as ‘like an animal’ when he was drunk and would act unpredictably.

“Her children recall placing a table against the front door to try and prevent him getting in the house when he was drunk.

“In one incident in July 2001 he grabbed her hair at the back of her head, pulled her to the ground and dragged her towards a waiting taxi before getting in it and leaving.

“On Christmas Day into Boxing Day of 2002 he started shouting at her then slapped her three times on the face.

“He went into the kitchen, returned and approached her.

“She then saw that he had a knife in his right hand.

“He pushed the knife to the left side of her neck and said ‘I’m going to kill you’.

“Her children ran out of the house and told a neighbour who went to the locus and saw the accused standing over her with a knife, pointing it at her chest.

Ms Bell said that a second woman was in a relationship with Hutcheson for a few months in 2005: “After ending the relationship she started a new relationship.

“On November 18 2005 around 1am the accused let himself into her flat and threatened to kill her and her new partner.

“Over a three-month period thereafter he repeatedly phoned and sent text messages to her at her home, on her mobile and at her place of work.

“He would call any time of the day and night, up to seven or eight times in a two-hour period.

“He would make threats to kill her and her partner, saying ‘I’m going to shoot yous’ and ‘I’ve got a gun under [the] shed’.

“He also regularly sent threatening text messages to her place of work, threatening to kill her, her boss and threatening to blow up the shop she worked at.”

The court heard that the complainer in the final charges was in a relationship with the accused from October 2013 to October 2015 when she was recovering from breast cancer.

Ms Bell said: “On one occasion the accused asked her to bring knives from the kitchen which she did to placate him.

“He picked one up and put it in his pocket and talked about his days working in a slaughterhouse.

“He then leaned over to the complainer and prodded the front of her neck with the tip of the knife blade and said ‘I could do it here’.

“He then prodded the side of her neck and said ‘that’s where I got that guy, right there’, referring to the man he claimed to have killed.

“He then went on to push her to the ground and place his forearm across her neck and apply such pressure that she lost consciousness.

“The accused often told her he was a trained butcher, that he had a keen interest in knifes, that he was a murderer and that he had killed two people.

“He liked to talk to her about cutting flesh and how to go about killing animals and people.”

Hutcheson, 39, a prisoner at HMP Perth, pleaded guilty on indictment to eight charges including assault, breach of the peace and behaving in a threatening and abusive manner.

Defence solicitor Grant Bruce said he would give his plea in mitigation at a later sentencing date.

Sheriff Alastair Brown deferred sentence until next month for social work background reports and remanded Hutcheson in custody meantime.

He said: “There is a distinct likelihood of an extended sentence, which means I am considering a prison sentence of over four years.”