A MAN who brutally beat his girlfriend while suffering hallucinations from drug withdrawal has escaped jail after a judge said the couple’s “ongoing relationship” would help him beat his addiction.
Graham Lowrie was sentenced to a two-year long drug treatment and testing order (DTTO) at the High Court in Edinburgh yesterday.
Lawrie was convicted of punching, kneeing and kicking his partner Suzanne Auld before hitting her with a hairdryer and strangling her. The vicious attack left her with 32 staples in her head
Ms Auld was in court for the hearing and had feared the 26-year-old would be imprisoned for the attack, which was sparked after her lover believed she was actually his dead friend.
Lowrie’s solicitor told the court the pair were still in a “loving relationship”, and Ms Auld had pledged to help him beat his drug problems.
Lord Turnbull decided not to jail Lowrie after learning that his 27-year-old girlfriend was standing by him, and offered him the chance to turn his life around instead.
Ms Auld previously told the Evening News that Lowrie was not a drug-crazed monster but a caring partner who had slowly become gripped by the drug GHB, which he had sourced on the internet, and that she had been to visit him in prison.
At the time of the assault, on December 26 and 27 last year, he was suffering withdrawal having taken GHB – a powerful anaesthetic – every day that month.
His supply had run out and by Boxing Day he had started to believe his partner of four years was his dead friend Billy.
Ms Auld managed to flee from their flat wearing pants and socks – but Lowrie followed her out of their home at Moncrieffe House in Moredunvale Bank and continued to assault her in a lift.
She managed to get out of the lift on the 11th floor where a resident heard her call for help as Lowrie shouted: “Don’t listen to her. She’s evil.”
Another neighbour found her crawling on all fours screaming: “He’s going to kill me.”
However, Ms Auld refused to give up on her boyfriend, and called for tighter controls on the drug.
Defence solicitor advocate David Taylor told the court yesterday that Lowrie was “committed to changing his lifestyle” while he and Ms Auld were still in a “loving relationship”.
He said: “She has been supportive of him and remains supportive of him.
“He has a vast history of illicit drug use and might find it difficult to remain drug-free. But the DTTO would be the ideal way to provide him with support and show that he is as good as his word.”
Mr Taylor said his client had undergone drugs tests since being released last month and they had proved “negative”.
Lord Turnbull said he would not order Lowrie to carry out any community work as a further punishment so he could “focus” on tackling his drug dependency.