Edinburgh crime: Shaun Muir jailed after trying to strangle pregnant girlfriend at Edinburgh home
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A violent thug who attempted to strangle his pregnant girlfriend while the pair argued has been jailed for more than two years.
Shaun Muir, 37, grabbed partner Lucy Murray by the throat and squeezed tightly before striking her to the floor. Muir then kicked the seven-week pregnant woman on the body while she lay on the ground at her home in Edinburgh. The brutal attack was stopped when a concerned neighbour overheard the victim’s terrified screaming and called in the police.
Muir pleaded guilty to assaulting Ms Murray when he appeared from custody at the city’s sheriff court earlier this month and he was back in the dock from custody for sentencing on Tuesday. Muir’s defence agent said his client has suffered from drug and alcohol misuse that had escalated three years ago after his former partner had passed away. The lawyer added Muir did not remember much of the attack on Ms Murray due to consuming Buckfast and cocaine and that he was now “ashamed by his behaviour” towards her.
Sheriff Fiona Tait said: “The narrative of the offences I heard on the last occasion is particularly concerning behaviour especially in relation to charge two at the time when the complainer was pregnant. I also have to take into account your record and the fact you have breached a number of community payback orders and a restriction of liberty order. Given regard to the nature of the charges there is no alternative to a custodial sentence.”
Muir, from Bonnyrigg, Midlothian, was jailed for a total of 27 months and was handed a non-harassment order banning him from having any contact with Ms Murray for five years.
Edinburgh Sheriff Court was told Muir was drunk when he and Ms Murray arranged to meet up to discuss their relationship on July 8 last year. But the meeting turned violent after Muir left the property to buy more alcohol and then returned. The court was told his drinking had angered Ms Murray and a row erupted between the pair when she asked him to leave her home.
Fiscal depute Joanna Waller said: “The accused was asked to leave but he refused and stated ‘the only way you will get out is to have me lifted’. Ms Murray was fearful for her safety and for the safety of her unborn child.” Ms Murray managed to get hold of her phone to call her mother but the device was ripped from her grasp by her attacker. The court was told “a struggle ensued” and the woman was “pushed to the neck several times and she fell to the floor”.
Ms Waller added: “The accused stood over her and grabbed her by the throat and applied pressure in an attempt to choke her. The disturbance was overheard by a neighbour who had heard Ms Murray’s screams for help.” The neighbour alerted the police and Ms Murray managed to flee her home to a nearby car park. The court was told when police arrived she was described as “extremely distressed and crying” and Muir was soon traced nearby.
Muir pleaded guilty to behaving in a threatening or abusive manner and did repeatedly shout and swear at Ms Murray, remove a phone from her, utter threatening remarks and refuse to leave the property when requested to do so at an address in Edinburgh on July 8 last year. He also admitted to assaulting Ms Murray by struggling with her, repeatedly pushing her on the neck causing her to fall to the ground, seize her by the neck and compress and kick her on the body during the same incident.