Welder who abused partner is fined £900

A 39-year-old unemployed welder whose abuse against his former partner included “body-shaming” her has been fined £900.

Karl Gilhespy, of Cunningsburgh, admitted to the “serious and concerning” offence at Lerwick Sheriff Court on Thursday.

Procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie said Gilhespy had entered a relationship with the complainer in August last year.

After she ended it with him on New Year’s Eve, Mr MacKenzie said Gilhespy was unable to accept it.

“Against her better judgement”, Mr MacKenzie said the complainer “succumbed to his pleas” and resumed their relationship until it ended finally on 2nd March.

During this period, Mr MacKenzie said the relationship was characterised by Gilhespy “shouting and swearing”, accusing her of being unfaithful, and checking her phone to see whom she had been contacting.

If the complainer failed to respond to Gilhespy’s calls or texts immediately, the fiscal said he would repeatedly send her “abusive, disparaging and degrading” messages.

He said these involved “body-shaming and other unpleasantness”.

After the relationship ended for the second time, the court heard Gilhespy would repeatedly loiter outside the complainer’s home.

On one occasion, the court heard, he came to her home and banged repeatedly on the door.

It led to the complainer seeking help from her former partner – and then calling the police. 

Under  police interview, Mr MacKenzie said Gilhespy made some “quite revealing” comments.

When asked about text messages he had sent, Gilhespy replied that the complainer was a “compulsive liar” and a “horrible, selfish c**t”.

Defence agent Tommy Allan said his client was now back with his previous partner and no longer wanted to see the complainer.

He said the relationship “went off the rails” and it was “not a good time” in Gilhespy’s life.

Mr Allan said his client acknowledge he “acted in a way that he should not have”.

Sheriff Ian Cruickshank said it was a “serious and concerning offence”.

The sheriff fined Gilhespy £900 plus victim surcharge and issued a non harassment order preventing him from contacting the complainer for three years.


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