Man 'jumped on pregnant woman's belly like a trampoline'

Court: Paterson is on trial at the High Court in Aberdeen.
Court: Paterson is on trial at the High Court in Aberdeen.© STV

A mother has told a court how a man accused of trying to murder three pregnant women jumped up and down on her pregnant belly "like it was a trampoline".

The woman also claimed James Paterson, 23, throttled her three times until she blacked out during a string of violent attacks that began when she was between four and five months pregnant.

Paterson denies trying to kill the women, raping two of them and attacking two newborn babies at addresses in Fife and Edinburgh.

On Monday, the 25-year-old told the High Court in Aberdeen Paterson attacked her when he came home from a night out as she lay in bed watching television.

She said: "He just jumped on the bed and kicked his right foot up in my face. He then started kicking me in the stomach, jumping on my belly. I said, 'you're going to have to stop, you're going to kill the baby.'

"He said 'I'm not bothered'. He jumped on my belly like it was a trampoline he was bouncing on it. He started laying in about me. I went to the bathroom, my face was all cut open, I had blood on my jammies.

"He butted me in the face, he bust my nose. I've still got a scar across my nose. When I woke up I had two black and blue eyes and a swollen lip. My face was a mess."

The woman said on another occasion, when she was pregnant with another child, Paterson jumped on her stomach again. She claimed he said he was helping her "get rid" of the baby.

The mother said Paterson would threaten her if he suspected she was going to tell the police.

Cupboard

She said: "He said he would shut me in a cupboard, take my phone off me and leave me with no food or water."

Defence agent Gordon Martin said there was evidence to suggest the woman spat on Paterson during one argument and told him she was going to sleep with someone else during another.

He said: "You are trying to present the picture to the ladies and gentlemen that you were so frightened of him that you couldn't tell the police. If he was the sort of man who would kick you in the head why would you argue with him?"

She replied: "Every single argument I have with him I'm not going to sit and take it."

The trial also heard evidence from detective constable Emma Clark, of Fife Constabulary, who said she interviewed Paterson in relation to a baby who was found to have skull and rib fractures following hospital checks. DC Clark said when she interviewed Paterson he admitted he had dropped the baby twice and later admitted the child had fallen from a bouncer chair onto the bathroom floor when he tried to pick the chair up with the baby in it.

Paterson is charged with causing the woman to lose consciousness by squeezing her neck. He is further accused of forcing her into a car, punching her on the head, repeatedly stamping on her stomach and head butting her while she was pregnant.

He has lodged a special defence of self defence against the woman and another of his alleged victims.

He is alleged to have attacked and twice raped the other woman. Paterson is accused of attacking and stabbing another woman, raping her three times and squeezing her neck until she lost consciousness.

Paterson was said to have tried to murder all three women, endangered their lives and left them severely injured and permanently disfigured. He is further accused of attacking two babies, severely injuring one of them and endangering their life, sending threatening text messages to his third alleged victim and failing to appear in court.

He faces 11 charges which date from between January 2006 and July last year.

The trial, before Lord Malcolm, continues.