Man remanded after admitting controlling behaviour against women

A man behind a “truly appalling catalogue” of domestic abuse against three women has been remanded in custody.

Norman Donald, 43, of Leaside, Mossbank, admitted a list of five charges when he appeared in the dock in Lerwick on Wednesday.

Sheriff Ian Cruickshank was told Donald had been arrested as part of a “significant case involving a significant police enquiry”.

The court heard of Donald’s controlling nature against women.

In one incident, he threatened to kill his victim.

Another woman was left injured as she struggled to grab the blade of a knife he was wielding.

The offences began between January and March 2017 when Donald abducted his first victim and confined her in a flat. He locked the door and deprived her of access to a key.

The court heard that Donald pinned her against a wall and grabbed her throat. On a number of occasions he repeatedly punched her head and body, all to her injury.

Exerting control over her, he destroyed her mobile phone and her passport, repeatedly calling her abusive and degrading names, threatening her with violence. He forced entry into a locked bathroom where she was hiding, and repeatedly monitored and controlled her communications with family and friends.

In 2019 Donald became abusive to another partner.

As well as regulating the communication she had with others, he also controlled the amount of money she had access to.

He was abusive to her, calling her degrading names, and falsely accused her of infidelity.

Then, in September of that year, he repeatedly struck her body with a knife, causing injury. On 23rd September he repeatedly thrust a knife at her. She sustained injury after grabbing the blade in an attempt to protect herself.

Last year he embarked on a similar course of conduct with a third woman.

On 9th May, he shouted and swore at her and threatened her with violence. Grabbing her arm, he pulled her and threw a punch at her.

The court also heard that, on 10th May, he made 29 phonecalls to her over a period of 31 minutes.

Procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie apologised for the length of narrative he gave describing the events.

“He was interviewed by the police and provided ‘no comment’ answers to all the questions put to him,” the fiscal said.

Defence agent Tommy Allan said Donald was “under no illusions” over the ultimate disposal.

But he sought Donald’s liberation until the sentencing date.

Sheriff Cruickshank said Donald’s actions amounted to “relentless control” over his victims.

Ordering background reports until next month, he ordered Donald be taken into custody.


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