Kill-threat accused is put behind bars

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Unable to accept the break-up of his relationship, Stuart McCutcheon threatened his ex-partner, saying he would slit her throat. The 23-year-old bombarded the woman with text messages, of which one read, “I’m going to come and kill you, rape you, and cut you up.”

After police arrested the accused for motoring offences, he told officers he had a single barrel shotgun and ammunition.

A trained firearms officer and specialist dog searched two properties in Hawick, finding the weapon in an airing cupboard and cartridges hidden in gloves in a child’s bedroom.

McCutcheon, of Thornhill, Dumfries, admitted placing his ex-partner in a state of fear and alarm and committing a breach of the peace at a house at Atkinson Road, on May 30 2008.

“A great deal of his offending flows from his inability to deal with the break--up of the relationship,” explained prosecutor Tessa Bradley.

Miss Bradley said there had been an argument between the two and the woman asked McCutcheon to leave.

“She took a bag of his clothing and threw it outside, and when he went out to get it, she shut him out,” explained Miss Bradley.

On January 1, 2009, at the same house, McCutcheon admitted uttering threats and assaulting his ex-partner by grabbing her by the throat.

Miss Bradley said the woman had been at home when she received an “unpleasant” phone call from the accused around 6pm. Two hours later he turned up at her door and pushed his way inside, shouting and swearing, and threatening violence.

“He said that he would slit her throat,” said Miss Bradley.

“They split up in 2008 and this happened nearly a year later,” added the prosecutor.

McCutcheon admitted breaching a bail condition by contacting his ex-partner.

Miss Bradley said the woman received about 60 calls and messages of “an unpleasant and threatening nature” accusing her of being a grass, and saying he would come and kill her.

McCutcheon admitted making text and telephone calls to the woman on February 3 last year.

“He bombarded her with texts and phone calls of a threatening nature,” said Miss Bradley.

“In one, he said, “I’m going to come and kill you, rape you, and cut you up.” McCutcheon also told the woman he had a “big blade” and was going to tie up her new boyfriend.

On November 18 last year, McCutcheon admitted failing to stop for police when driving in Hamilton Road. He also admitted driving dangerously and losing control of the vehicle between Bunfoot and Hornshole.

McCutcheon further admitted driving without a licence and insurance.

Miss Bradley said the roads were wet after steady rain and it was dark when police, in an unmarked car, saw a vehicle travelling at speed.

They activated their vehicle’s siren and flashing lights, but the driver failed to stop, accelerating away. McCutcheon lost control on a blind bend, mounted a banking and careered on to the other side of the road.

McCutcheon also admitted having a shotgun without a certificate at a house in Fisher Avenue on December 30/31, 2010. He also admitted taking away a van without the owner’s consent in Raeson Park on December 31 last year, driving dangerously on the road to Stirches, and driving with a breath/alcohol reading of 80 mcgs – the legal limit being 35 McCutcheon also drove while disqualified and without insurance.

Miss Bradley said the accused had gone to stay with a friend in Fisher Avenue. When he showed the woman a shotgun he had hidden down his trousers, she told him she didn’t want it in her house and he left with it.

McCutcheon took a friend’s van and lost control while driving, narrowly missing a pedestrian. The van overturned and came to rest on the road, when the accused kicked open the door and rolled out.

A man who went to his assistance was aware of the smell of alcohol and contacted police.

“When apprehended nearby, he told police he had a gun, but refused to say where it was,” continued Miss Bradley.

“After being given a cigarette, he then said it was hidden behind a tumble drier in a house in Hawick, but the house was searched and nothing found.

“Police then attended at another flat where the accused had been seen and using a specialist dog, the gun was found in an airing cupboard by a trained firearms officer.

Sheriff Donald Corke jailed McCutcheon for a total of two years and five months (124 weeks) and banned him from driving for three years.