Community service for man (23) who repeatedly hit woman who refused to have sex with him

Royal Court. Picture: JON GUEGAN. (37062542) (38121750)

A 23-YEAR-OLD man who repeatedly punched a woman in the face after she refused to have sex with him has been spared a prison sentence.

Neil MacBrayne was warned he could have faced 18 months in jail for his behaviour when he was sentenced in the Royal Court on Friday.

Crown Advocate Adam Harrison, prosecuting, told the court that MacBrayne attacked the woman when she refused to have sex with him – punching her in the face at least five times.

“Afterwards, he said: ‘I’m sorry. I meant to hit the pillow,” the Advocate said.

He added that MacBrayne subjected her to controlling and abusive behaviour before and after the physical assault, including reading the messages on her phone and making negative comments about her appearance and weight.

“He told her: ‘Nobody likes you, you’ve got no friends. No wonder you were bullied.’”

And on another occasion, he added, MacBrayne punched a wardrobe in the victim’s house so hard that the door came off its hinges.

The Crown Advocate said: “It affected the victim’s work. She believed it contributed to her losing her job.”

He said MacBrayne had been assessed as at moderate risk of reconviction within a year and recommended a 15-month jail sentence.

Advocate Chris Baglin, defending, said it was “unpleasant, awful behaviour”.

“But it was not an intentional campaign employing a lot of different methods,” he added.

And he pointed out that the victim had not had to give evidence in a trial because MacBrayne had pleaded guilty early.

“He has never been in trouble before. He has expressed genuine remorse and insight. He wants to be better than he has been.”

Deputy Bailiff Robert MacRae said that the Jurats felt that the prosecution’s suggested 15-month sentence was too low, and that 18 months was more appropriate.

However, he said: “The only question for the court is whether you can be spared an immediate custodial sentence.

“A community service order of 240 hours is a direct alternative to 18 months.”

MacBrayne was told that his guilty plea and lack of previous convictions allowed the Jurats to impose 240 hours of community service instead.

MacBrayne was also put on probation for 18 months and given a restraining order, banning him from any contact with the victim for five years or from coming within 100 metres of her home.

He must also pay her £1,000 in compensation.

Mr MacRae was joined by Jurats Elizabeth Dulake and Andrew Cornish.

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