‘Drunken bully’ is sent to jail for violent assault

Selkirk Sheriff Court
Selkirk Sheriff Court

A “drunken bullying assault” on his partner saw Bruce Turnbull jailed for 240 days at Selkirk Sheriff Court on Monday.

Sheriff Kevin Drummond said the 33-year-old had committed a “protracted, persistent, and violent” attack on the woman, which fell into the higher end of domestic abuse.

Turnbull of Ruberslaw Road, admitted behaving in a threatening, or abusive manner at Galalaw Road on July 9, and assaulting his partner by repeatedly punching and slapping her on the head and body to her injury, at McLagan Drive, Charles Street, and Hillend Drive.

Four days later, on July 13, Turnbull breached a bail condition by repeatedly phoning the woman.

The sheriff commented that the victim had been “physically shaking with fear” and described Turnbull’s criminal justice social work report as one of the worst he had read. Solicitor Ed Hulme, defending, said his client was “adamant” such an incident would not happen again.

“They are reconciled, and she is expecting another baby,” said Mr Hulme, before adding the woman had left over the weekend.

After adjourning over lunch for consideration, Sheriff Drummond told Turnbull: “This court and others around the country regularly see domestic abuse as a term applied to conduct across a range of behaviour from aggressive verbal to physical assault.

“It is behaviour recognised as a social problem,” he added. “This was a protracted, persistent and violent assault by a drunken bully with no respect for the victim or for people in the street.

“Your reply to caution – “I don’t give a f…k” – is consistent with your attitude in the social enquiry report, which essentially says you are unsuitable for a community based disposal,” he continued.

“You were released on bail after the assault, with a special condition for your partner’s protection.

“You then demonstrated your contempt for court orders by breaching that condition in four days by contacting her and making abusive remarks.

“Your social enquiry report is as bad as I have seen in a domestic context,” he added.

“This case demonstrates part of the higher end of the range of conduct which constitutes domestic abuse – a drunken, bullying, assault,” he concluded. Turnbull was sentenced to 72 days imprisonment for acting in an abusive and threatening manner, and a concurrent period 192 days for assaulting his partner.

He received a 48-day jail term – to run consecutively – for the breach of bail.