Murder accused ‘threatened to shoot his victim’s family’

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A MAN accused of assaulting two newborn babies and trying to murder three pregnant women threatened to shoot the family of one of his victims if she talked, a court has heard.

James Paterson, 23, is accused of a string off assaults against the women, who were all pregnant.

Paterson was also alleged to have assaulted a newborn baby by pulling him across a bed in 2008. He was further alleged to have repeatedly thrown another newborn baby against a bed headboard and dropped him on the floor, causing severe injury and endangering his life during incidents between 2009 and 2010. He went on trial at the High Court in Aberdeen yesterday.

Paterson’s first alleged victim broke down in tears yesterday as she told how he tried to set her on fire, stabbed her in the hand with a penknife and turned her into a “nervous wreck”.

The woman, 22, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said she had to be taken to hospital after he stabbed her on Boxing Day but lied to doctors about how she got her injury.

She said: “I was sitting at the end of the bed talking to my sister on the phone. He didn’t like it because he tried to stop me talking to my family. The penknife was lying on the bed and he ended up stabbing me.”

Speaking of another alleged attack, the woman claimed Paterson chased her around the room with a deodorant can and a cigarette lighter and ignited flames from the aerosol close to the side of her face.

The woman told the court she was too scared to tell anybody about the abuse.

She said: “He always threatened me that if I told anybody he would take shotguns to my family’s heads.”

Paterson is accused of attacking and stabbing the first woman and raping her three times in Lochgelly, Fife, and Edinburgh.

He is also accused detaining her in a car before chasing her in the vehicle and running over her foot.

Between January 1, 2008, and December 25, 2010, he is alleged to have attacked and twice raped another woman in Kirkcaldy and Lochgelly.

Paterson is alleged to have attacked another pregnant woman in Kirkcaldy between June 2009 and July 2010, causing her to lose consciousness by squeezing her neck.

He is said to have tried to murder all three women, left them severely injured and permanently disfigured.

Paterson has lodged the special defence of self-defence in relation to his second and third victims.

He claims all three women consented to sex.

The trial continues.