A man who threatened to cut up his wife and eat her has narrowly avoided a prison sentence.
Robert Gavin (40), described as a prisoner, was given a ‘stringent’ community payback order as an alternative to custody when he appeared before Sheriff Alasdair Thornton.
He had previously admitted, on indictment, that he behaved in a threatening or abusive manner towards his wife, Lawra Gavin, between May 1 and June 17 this year.
He’d admitted that his behaviour was likely to cause fear and alarm in that he told her he had a knife, cable ties and pieces of rope and that he intended to tie her up, cut her up then eat her.
Gavin had also admitted that on various occasions on June 24 this year, at Aithernie Road, Leven, he behaved in a threatening or abusive manner likely to cause fear and alarm in that he made derogatory remarks towards his wife and placed a letter in his home address containing a written threat of violence towards her.
Sentence on Gavin had been deferred for reports and his solicitor, David Bell, told the court that a psychiatrist was of the view that, while the threats were alarming, he never intended to go any further.
Sheriff Thornton told Gavin that despite the ‘extreme’ nature of the threats, he had taken into account that he was appearing as a first offender and had pled guilty at the first opportunity.
“I was extremely perturbed to hear the threats you made,” he said.
“The alternative to custody will be a stringent one.
“I do warn you that if i am told you are not complying with the order I will have no hesitation in imposing a custodial sentence.”
The Sheriff imposed an order requiring Gavin to be placed on supervision for 18 months and to carry out 210 hours of unpaid work. He was also told he must not contact Lawra Gavin.
The order is to be reviewed on April 12 next year.
Community payback orders came into force in Scotland in 2011 and are a direct alternative to prison.
They require an offender to make reparation, often in the form of unpaid work, as well as requiring them to address and change their offending behaviours, thereby improving the safety of local communities.