Fife man jailed for catalogue of attacks on two women

Dundee Sheriff Court
Dundee Sheriff Court

A man who carried out an horrific catalogue of attacks on two women over the course of 14 years was today (Wednesday) jailed for more than three years.

James Gray had denied the offences - which included holding a machete to one woman’s throat and repeatedly smashing another’s head off a bath - right up to his trial, forcing his victims to stand in the witness box and tell of the violent attacks they suffered at his hands.

But once they had given evidence he finally admitted seven charges of abuse.

He appeared in court for sentencing - where he had to represent himself when his solicitor withdrew from acting for him because he had again denied the offences.

A sheriff told him he had caused one of his victims to suffer from PTSD as a result, and added: “You don’t seem to be showing much remorse for any of your actions and that makes these incidents all the more serious.”

Gray started his campaign of terror against one woman in January 2001.

Between then and December 2010 he attacked her repeatedly at addresses in Perthshire and in north-east Fife.

Dundee Sheriff Court heard during that period he grabbed her and repeatedly pushed her against a wall and pinned her against it.

He placed his arms over her threat and pressed against it, forced her head against a mirror, punched her on the body and poured juice on her face and headbutted her.

In on incident he presented a knife at her and threatened to kill her and her son.

And in another he held a massive machete to her throat.

After their break up Gray moved on to another victim.

In one sustained assault Gray launched a brutal attack on her on March 1, 2014 at a cottage in Killicrankie.

Gray threw a coaster at her, repeatedly pulled her hair and slapped her face before twisting her arm up her back.

Fiscal depute Saima Rasheed told Dundee Sheriff Court: “Doctors indicate some of the injuries to her appear to be as a result of her arm being twisted up her back.”

He then forced a door open and pushed her into a bath, strangled her, repeatedly smashed her head off the bath, threatened to kill her and repeatedly kicked her arm to her severe injury.

The court was told she broke her arm in two places as a result of the attack.

Police were called and Gray was taken in a police car to Perth’s police HQ.

On the journey Gray hurled abuse at the officers - shouting, swearing and threatening them with violence.

Five months later, on August 7, Gray again launched a horror attack on his second victim at an address in Auchtermuchty despite being banned from contacting her after appearing in court over the earlier attack.

He grabbed her and restrained her by the throat before repeatedly banging her head against a car interoior, then dragged her from the car and repeatedly punched her on the body to her severe injury.

Then on March 1 last year Gray attacked her again - grabbing her arm, pinning her to a bed and straddling her.

And two weeks later Gray again attacked the woman - grabbing her and pushing her against a wall, seizing her neck, kicking her body and stamping on her foot all to her injury.

Gray (39), of Wood Mill Farm Cottage, Auchtermuchty, initially denied a total of 11 charges on indictment.

But after two days of evidence at his trial he pleaded guilty to seven of the charges - five of assault, one of behaving in a threatening and abusive manner and one of breaching bail.

Three of the assaults were committed while Gray was on bail.

Defence solicitor Rebecca Cross, defending, said: “He has denied the offences in the background reports and again to me this morning - I have to withdraw from acting.”

Gray then told the court: “I just want this over and done with. I don’t want another solicitor.”

Sheriff Lorna Drummond QC jailed Gray for a total of three years and three months.

She said: “These offences include one incident where you presented a knife at a woman.

“Others include causing severe injury, in one causing a broken arm.

“These are very serious offences and they warrant custody.

“You don’t seem to be showing much remorse for any of your actions and that makes these incidents all the more serious.

“It is clear from the victim impact statements that these incidents have had lasting impacts on your victims.”