Fife domestic abuser who fled the country to avoid court is jailed

A domestic abuser who fled Fife to France to avoid court proceedings has been jailed for three years.

By A Court Reporter
Monday, 2nd May 2022, 4:42 pm

Ian Nicol, a prisoner at Perth, appeared from HMP Perth via video link before Sheriff Elizabeth McFarlane at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court.

The sentence came after a jury in Kirkcaldy found Nicol, 45, guilty of six charges against three women, including headbutting a woman in the mouth and posting online an indecent photo of another woman.

Nicol was convicted of sending messages and images to one woman which were grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character, on various occasions in Glenrothes and elsewhere, between November 2008 and September 2009.

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The case called recently at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court.

He also took an indecent photo of the woman in her underwear without her knowledge or consent and sent it to her, threatening to post it on the internet.

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On various occasions between January 2005 and November 2008 he assaulted the woman by seizing her by the body and pushing her, causing her to fall.

Nicol acted in a threatening or abusive manner towards another woman in the town by posting an indecent image of her on her personal social media account, in August 2013.

He attacked a third woman at a different address in Glenrothes by pinning her against a wall and on a bed, striking her on the body, and headbutting her in the mouth to her injury, on various occasions between May 1999 and November 2000.

He was also convicted of acting in an abusive and threatening manner towards the same woman by throwing items about, damaging walls and breaking glass panes in a door.

On Thursday Nicol’s defence advocate said his client had left the country after being served with indictment charges, separate to these offences, which were later dismissed.

Nicol was arrested when he returned to the UK.

His defence advocate acknowledged that a custodial sentence might be the only sentencing option available to the court.

He said: “He had been residing in France for a number of years. Before being remanded, he lived in Kelty. There are no drink or drug issues. There was in the past – he no longer abuses drugs or drinks alcohol to excess.

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“But he recognised these difficulties were impacting on his relationship with partners and he has himself addressed this.”

Sheriff McFarlane told Nicol: “While I accept that certain deletions were made after the evidence and by the jury, I am still left with the charges before me.

“The evidence I heard was from three complainers who, over the course of 15 to 16 years, were subject to abusive and aggressive behaviour by you in some shape or form.

“You will recognise this would have been upsetting, stressful and embarrassing for each of them. That is certainly the impression I formed when they gave their evidence which they waited for years to do because you left the country.”

Sheriff McFarlane sentenced him to prison for three years with the jail term backdated to August. She also placed him on three non-harassment orders preventing him from having any contact with the three complainers for a period of three years.