Man jailed for attacks on pregnant girlfriend

Anthony Blackburn was jailed for five years. Picture: Julie Bull
Anthony Blackburn was jailed for five years. Picture: Julie Bull
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A VILE thug who battered and humiliated his pregnant girlfriend has been jailed for five years.

Anthony Blackburn, 23, ­subjected Alison Nelson to a campaign of terror that an ­outraged sheriff described as “one of the worst cases of domestic abuse” she had dealt with in more than 30 years. During a series of attacks in August 2013, Blackburn repeatedly slapped Ms Nelson, 22, in the face, kicked her and pushed her to the ground at a house in Broxburn, West Lothian.

As well as hitting her, Blackburn, of Livingston, held a lit cigarette lighter to her body, put eggs and flour over her head, and carried out other humiliating and degrading acts on her. She was also repeatedly struck with a dog lead and had a knife held to her throat while he threatened to kill her.

Blackburn was found guilty of the attacks after a trial at Hamilton Sheriff Court.

Sheriff Marie Smart branded his actions “appalling” and said women needed protection from him.

She jailed Blackburn for five years and ordered he be kept on licence for a further three years on his release.

She said: “This was one of the most shocking cases I have ever encountered towards a young woman, who was at the time pregnant with your child.”

The defence offered no ­mitigation to the charges.

The trial had heard how in another vicious and sustained attack at a house in Newmains, Lanarkshire, in October 2013, Blackburn strangled Ms ­Nelson and poured a bottle of nail ­varnish remover over her.

A jury took just over an hour to convict Blackburn.

Sheriff Smart added: “These offences contained the most appalling violence towards the complainer, aggravated by conduct intended to humiliate and degrade her. It is gratifying she eventually managed to escape from this abusive relationship.”