Man wielded knife in front of children

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A KENNOWAY man who brandished a knife and began slashing at a wall in front of his ex-partner and two young children has been told he must attend domestic abuse and anger management courses.

David Halley, 41 Halfields Gardens, admitted that, on February 5 this year at a house in St Andrews, he behaved in a threatening and abusive manner and also caused damage to a property by slashing wallpaper with a knife.

The 27-year-old further admitted he breached bail conditions by contacting the woman.

When the case called at Cupar Sheriff Court on Thursday, the depute procurator fiscal said Halley had appeared at the house to collect mail.

The woman went to the kitchen to make a snack for her child and his friend. While she was in there, Halley asked if they could have a reconciliation but she refused.

He then took a steak knife out of a drawer, in full view of the woman and children, and began slashing at the wallpaper.

The children ran from the house and raised the alarm with a neighbour. The woman also left the house, locking the accused inside.

However, he was seen getting into a car and called to her that he’d be back.

The depute fiscal went on to say Halley also breached bail conditions by contacting the woman by text a couple of days later.

He had told her he wanted a couch back from her that had cost him £1700. The woman replied, telling him he was not getting it, and, after that, he sent her a further 10 texts within the hour.

Defence solicitor Alan Davie said his client had not immediately realised that sending texts would breach his bail conditions.

He added Halley had been in a relationship with the woman for two years and had not wanted it to end.

“He acted extremely badly and he has a serious issue with controlling his anger,” he said.

“He did not want the complainer to benefit from his hard work in decorating the room but he realises how alarming his actions had been, especially for the two young children.”

Mr Davie added Halley had a conviction for a domestic breach of the peace in 2010 and had attended some anger management classes but had not finished the course.

Sheriff Charles Macnair said the offence was extremely serious, particularly given he was attacking a wall with a knife in front of his ex-partner and two very young children.

He said: “You were the only person who knew the wall was your only victim. They did not and it must have been a very frightening experience for them. And, of course, you already have a conviction for domestic breach of the peace.”

With regard to the texts, the Sheriff said while Halley may not have realised the first time he was breaching bail, it was clear in his later texts that he had realised but continued to send messages.

Halley was sentenced to a community payback order which includes an 11-month supervision order, where he should attend a domestic abuse programme and an anger control techniques group. The order also includes a conduct requirement and 135 hours of unpaid work to be completed within six months.