Accused sent victim text claiming ‘I’ll kill you with my bare hands’

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A STRING of violent text messages reveal the true nature of a man accused of trying to murder three pregnant women, a court has been told.

Jurors heard closing speeches in the trial of James Paterson, who is also alleged to have raped two of the women and attacked two babies in Fife and Edinburgh.

Advocate depute Kath Harper told the jury that text messages retrieved from the phone of Paterson’s third alleged victim were “highly significant”.

One of eight messages said “I will slit your fat face wide open” and another read “I will kill you with my bare hands”.

Ms Harper said: “These texts are clear evidence of the nature of the accused. These texts tell you that what these women are telling you is credible.

“They are threatening, they are bullying, they are violent.

“In these texts he discloses to you what type of man he is and the type of behaviour in which he indulged.”

Defence agent Gordon Martin said Paterson, 23, had admitted sending the messages to the woman but did not intend to harm her.

He said: “He should be ashamed of the things he said in these texts. That does not mean he is going to do it.”

Mr Martin went on to tell the jury that the woman who received the texts was not credible. He alluded to evidence given by his client’s mother Maxine, 45, who admitted seeing her son pull the hair of one of his alleged victims and drag her to a car after she spat at him.

Mr Martin said he could not understand why, if Paterson was the “controlling and violent man” she had painted him as in court, she had spat in his face. He told the jury: “It’s like going into a cage with a fighting bear and poking it.”

He added: “She is a liar. No more, no less.”

The solicitor also warned the jury that Paterson’s reputation as a “serial shagger” could wrongly paint him as guilty.

He added: “It doesn’t make him a nice man but it doesn’t make him guilty of the charges.”

Paterson, of Cardenden, Fife, denies trying to murder three women, who were all pregnant at various times, endangering their lives during a string of attacks in Fife and Edinburgh.

He further denies raping two of the women, choking two of them until they lost consciousness and assaulting two babies.

He faces 11 charges in total which date from between January 2006 and July last year.

The jury is expected to retire to consider its verdict today.