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Inverness man jailed after attacking woman while she was driving between Aviemore and Kincraig

By Ali Morrison

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The Inverness Justice Centre locator March 2023. Picture: James Mackenzie.
The Inverness Justice Centre locator March 2023. Picture: James Mackenzie.

A father-of-two who attacked the same woman twice in six years was branded "exceptionally violent" by a sheriff who jailed the 55-year-old for 28 months.

The woman was first assaulted by Duncan Mackenzie, of Assynt Road, Inverness in April 2015 by punching her on the face and body and hitting her head off a shelf unit at her home in St Valery Avenue, Inverness.

But he avoided a jail sentence in February 2022 after she wrote a letter pleading for mercy. Instead he was ordered to carry out 300 hours of unpaid community work and take alcohol and mental health treatment.

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But on May 1, 2022 she was attacked again by her drunk partner as she drove him back to a Highlands hotel to meet friends.

At a previous hearing, Inverness Sheriff Court heard that Mackenzie punched the woman on the face and arm and tried to get control of the steering wheel.

The assault occurred on a journey between the Cairngorm Hotel in Aviemore and Kincraig House.

Sheriff Gordon Fleetwood was told by fiscal depute Emily Hood that Mackenzie had gone to the Aviemore bar after attending a football match and was intoxicated.

The accused got into her car and became abusive towards her and accused her of infidelity, Ms Hood said.

"He punched her on the face and arm while the car was in motion. She tried to avoid them but he attempted to grab hold of the steering wheel, causing her to slow down.

"She managed to stop and exited the vehicle but he continued to punch her on the back and stomach, shouting at her and calling her a whore."

She added that they both got back in the car and returned to Kincraig House where his demeanour changed and told friends that there was no excuse for his behaviour and he had "f***** everything up".

Mackenzie admitted assaulting the woman to her injury and danger of life on the B9152 between Aviemore and Kincraig as well as previous convictions and sentence had been deferred for a background report.

Defence solicitor Rory Gowans told Sheriff Gary Aitken: "The report makes reference to his embarrassment and shame and he wishes to apologise to the woman concerned.

"The relationship lasted for 10 years but there were difficulties at the end. He concedes he has had a problem with alcohol all his life and was drinking heavily.

"He suffered from black-outs and remembers nothing about what happened and was horrified when he heard what he had done.

"He had been at the football, not slept for 48 hours during which he was drinking heavily."

Sheriff Aitken told Mackenzie: "I have no doubt that drink is your problem. When you are drunk, you can be exceptionally violent towards this complainer as well as any other woman you are in a relationship with."

He also imposed a three-year non-harassment order to protect his victim, who was in court to hear the outcome, and left in tears supported by friends. Too upset to speak, she nodded her approval at the jail sentence.

View our fact sheet on court reporting here

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