Boxer who used family as punchbags faces prison

Trained boxer Patrick Hutton. Picture: Vic Rodrick
Trained boxer Patrick Hutton. Picture: Vic Rodrick
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A “FIT and powerful” boxer who used his wife and family as punchbags for decades is facing prison after being found guilty of the vicious assaults.

A jury took six hours to find former coal merchant Patrick Hutton guilty of six brutal assaults at the end of a four-week trial at Livingston Sheriff Court.

They heard evidence that the serious domestic abuse, which dated back 50 years, always followed a similar pattern. Hutton would come home from drinking sessions at the pub or welfare club in Fauldhouse, West Lothian, and “give his wife a slap”.

Giving evidence from behind a screen, ex-wife Rachel, 70, said her “fit and powerful” husband trained at a local boxing club and practised judo. He was nearly six feet tall and weighed 14 stone.

She said the violence began when she was aged just 20 and escalated over the years to include assaults on her 
children as well.

The mother-of-four said the attacks often came when they got home after nights out together in a social club near where they lived. She said she had to stare at the floor in pubs because her husband would accuse her of looking at other men and of being unfaithful to him.

Despite numerous referrals to doctors and hospital accident and emergency departments, she said she always lied about the cause of her and her children’s injuries on her husband’s orders.

Mrs Hutton revealed that her son John had left home for good at the age of 15 after suffering serious facial injuries inflicted by her husband.

John Hutton, 50, told how he escaped through his bedroom window and hid in the woods after one beating. But his father found him and dragged him by the hair back home then nailed the window shut before brutally assaulting him.

He also told how his dad plunged his head under water, slapped, punched and kicked him on the head and body as punishment.

One of Hutton’s daughters told how she suffered disturbing flashbacks about the violence her father inflicted on her family. Patricia Hutton, 49, said the trigger for her nightmares was her brother John’s decision to go to the police to report the historic abuse her mum and siblings had experienced.

Hutton, 71, of Church Place, Longridge, West Lothian, had denied a total of 16 charges but was convicted of four assaults on his wife, one on son John and one on daughter Maria between March 1965 and December 1984.

He will be sentenced later.