‘Deplorable’ domestic abuser jailed

Dundee Sheriff Court
Dundee Sheriff Court

A serial domestic abuser who claimed to be a double murderer and told his cancer survivor victim how to go about killing people has been jailed for four-and-a-half years.

Andrew Hutcheson subjected three women to a litany of abuse spanning more than 15 years.

One victim had a knife held to her throat in front of her children on Christmas Day.

Another was subjected to months of threats - with Hutcheson even sending multiple messages to her work threatening to blow up the shop she worked in.

A third - who was recovering from breast cancer at the time - had a knife held at her throat as Hutcheson told her “that’s where I got that guy, right there” while he claimed to have murdered someone with a blade.

A sheriff told Hutcheson his crimes were “utterly deplorable”.

Fiscal depute Vicki Bell told Dundee Sheriff Court that he lived with his first victim for almost 12 years and had abused her for 10 of those years with the family often barricading their door to try and keep him out.

She said: “He was described as ‘like an animal’ when he was drunk and would act unpredictably.

“Her children recall placing a table against the front door to try and prevent him getting in the house when he was drunk.

“In one incident in July 2001 he grabbed her hair at the back of her head, pulled her to the ground and dragged her towards a waiting taxi before getting in it and leaving.

“On Christmas Day into Boxing Day of 2002 he started shouting at her then slapped her three times on the face.

“He went into the kitchen, returned and approached her.

“She then saw that he had a knife in his right hand.

“He pushed the knife to the left side of her neck and said ‘I’m going to kill you’.

“Her children ran out of the house and told a neighbour who went to the locus and saw the accused standing over her with a kinfe, pointing it at her chest.”

The court heard another victim was in a relationship with the accused for a few months in 2005.

The fiscal depute continued: “After ending the relationship she started a new relationship.

“On November 18, 2005 around 1am the accused let himself into her flat and threatened to kill her and her new partner.

“Over a three month period thereafter he repeatedly phoned and sent text messages to her at her home, on her mobile and at her place of work.

“He would call any time of the day and night, up to seven or eight times in a two hour period.

“He would make threats to kill her and her partner, saying ‘I’m going to shoot yous’ and ‘I’ve got a gun under [the] shed’.

“He also regularly sent threatening text messages to her place of work, threatening to kill her, her boss and threatening to blow up the shop she worked at.”

The complainer in the final charges was in a relationship with the accused from October 2013 to October 2015 when she was recovering from breast cancer.

The fiscal depute told the court: “On one occasion the accused asked her to bring knives from the kitchen which she did to placate him.

“He picked one up and put it in his pocket and talked about his days working in a slaughterhouse.

“He then leaned over to the complainer and prodded the front of her neck with the tip of the knife blade and said ‘I could do it here’.

“He then prodded the side of her neck and said ‘that’s where I got that guy, right there’, referring to the man he claimed to have killed.

“He then went on to push her to the ground and place his forearm across her neck and apply such pressure that she lost consciousness.

“The accused often told her he was a trained butcher, that he had a keen interest in knives, that he was a murderer and that he had killed two people.

“He liked to talk to her about cutting flesh and how to go about killing animals and people.”

Hutcheson (39), a prisoner at HMP Perth, pleaded guilty on indictment to eight charges including assault, breach of the peace and behaving in a threatening and abusive manner.

Defence solicitor Billy Rennie said alcohol turned Hutcheson into a “Jekyll and Hyde character”.

He said: “He’s only had one prison sentence and that seems to have had some effect on curtailing his offending.

“He had stopped offending in 2005 after his relationship broke up.

“He is looking into alcohol courses in prison and he is reflecting on what he can do to improve his life and the lives of those around him.”

Sheriff Alastair Brown imposed a sentence totalling six-and-a-half years - four-and-a-half in prison and two years extended on licence.

He said: “I could say a great deal about domestic abuse but it is enough to say that violence against the domestic partner, the emotional abuse, violence against children, the emotional abuse of children living in the family with you, are all utterly deplorable and they have long-term consequences.

“This court will always treat these matters very seriously and your offences were particularly serious.”

He also imposed a non-harassment order against Hutcheson, preventing him from approaching or contacting, assaulting, abusing or threatening the women and children victims.