A PROFESSIONAL boxer who beat up four different women, including a partner who was pregnant, has been jailed for 30 months after being targeted by a specialist domestic abuse unit.
Former soldier Gareth Stemp was convicted of “despicable” assaults on the women over nine years.
Police chiefs made him a “priority” target for investigation since his boxing training meant he was able to “inflict a lot of damage”.
Officers identified and traced his ex-partners to gather evidence against the shamed star, who was jailed at Edinburgh Sheriff Court yesterday.
His imprisonment was met with criticism today as it emerged 29-year-old Stemp could be freed as early as September 26 next year.
His 30-month sentence was backdated to June 26, when he was taken into custody. Stemp, from Craigmillar, was also sentenced to 16 months last Thursday in a separate domestic abuse case on charges including violating a harrassment order and breaching bail, but the jail terms will run together.
Tory justice spokeswoman Margaret Mitchell said: “The public will be asking why these sentences were not made consecutive to add up to 46 months given the gravity of the convictions.
“Secondly, while the Scottish Government is talking about making inter-personal crimes a priority, they have not bothered to end automatic early release for all prisoners and make sure that the sentence given is the sentence served.
“These are grave crimes and this man, with his boxing background, is clearly a danger to the public.”
The Scottish Government announced plans in September to end automatic early release, but only for those convicted of violent crimes and sentenced to more than ten years.
Stemp, a father-of-two, was found guilty of ten domestic abuse charges – eight counts of assault and two of assault and abduction – against four victims.
The investigation was carried out by Edinburgh’s Domestic Abuse Investigation Unit. Detective Inspector Dougie Moran said: “Stemp was identified through multi-agency meetings which now take place between police, the procurator fiscal, social workers, and health and prison officials to identify offenders and decide how best to target them.
“In this case, we were aware that Stemp was involved in serial domestic abuse and we set out to speak to other partners to determine the extent.
“We knew that Stemp was a professional boxer and had the capacity for inflicting a lot of damage because of his training. That gave him a higher priority for us to target him.”
Stemp, who turned professional three years ago after 65 amateur fights, joined the army at 17. He served with 1 Scots and Argyll and Southern Highlanders for six years, which included a tour of duty in Iraq for six months.
In 2009, he won the Scottish senior bantamweight title and received bronze and silver medals competing for Scotland.
Michele Corcoran, manager of Edinburgh Women’s Aid, welcomed his imprisonment. She said: “This is a relatively young man who, with assaults against four different partners over four years, appears to be a serial abuser and has to be stopped before any more women, children or young people are affected.”