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Fined for assault that left woman with black eyes

A MAN who left his wife with two black eyes after repeatedly punching her has been fined £800.

Brian Cooper, 52, of Undirhoul, East Voe, pleaded guilty to assaulting the woman by punching her on the head and causing her to fall to the floor to her injury. The incident was also aggravated by involving the abuse of his partner.

Cooper admitted the offence at Lerwick Sheriff Court on Thursday, with procurator fiscal Duncan Mackenzie outlining how he had been drinking heavily in a pub where his – now estranged – wife worked as a barmaid.

When she finished her shift she had a drink with him, but Cooper “wasn’t in a good frame of mind” and told her to go home.

He arrived home shortly afterwards and during an argument she told him that she didn’t love him and neither did their daughter.

During the argument his wife got hold of him by the arm, leaving some “minor marks”, and he responded by “punching her full in the face repeatedly – the force was significant”.

In addition to two black eyes, she sustained a burst blood vessel to her right eye and a swollen and burst lip.

Mackenzie said Cooper had admitted assaulting her during a police interview but had falsely claimed she had been biting and scratching him.

Defence agent Liam McAllister said the couple had been together for around a decade and married for three years. A carpenter by trade who has worked for the same employer since leaving school, he said it was Cooper’s first offence.

His client acknowledged his behaviour had been “absolutely disgusting” and he was “deeply ashamed”, loved his wife and was sorry for his actions, which had ended a marriage that was the best thing in his life.

After the incident she moved out of the house and there has been no contact between them since. McAllister urged the court not to impose a non-harassment order, arguing it should be for the woman to decide if she wants any contact between them in future.

But Sheriff Philip Mann said it was important to afford the woman protection and imposed a one-year non-harassment order prohibiting Cooper from contacting her directly or indirectly.

He was fined £800 reduced from £1,200 to reflect his guilty plea, with the sheriff adding: “The court needs to take a firm line with domestic abuse and assault.”

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