A violent former soldier who knocked his ex-partner unconscious in a brutal assault has been jailed for four and a half years.
Paul McMullan, 40, was also told he would be under supervision for a further four years and could be returned to custody during that period if he breached licence conditions while in the community.
McMullan’s victim was found after the attack, bloodied and bruised, and with a piece of material tied around her neck.
A judge told him at the High Court in Edinburgh that there was no doubt that he had “a history of severe, chronic and escalating violence”.
Lady Haldane said that an expert report prepared on him found that he posed a medium risk but that the characteristics of the threat were potentially amenable to change by interventions through programmes in custody and in the community.
The judge said that she was persuaded on the balance of probabilities that the risk criteria for the imposition of an Order for Lifelong Restriction were not met in McMullan’s case at present.
But she warned that if he continued as he is, that could change and he could face an OLR – an indeterminate sentence – in the future.
McMullan was originally convicted of assaulting Angela Connelly to her injury following a trial at Dunfermline Sheriff Court and his case was sent to the High Court for a judge to consider whether an OLR should be made.
The former Scots Guard was found guilty of assaulting her at her home in Dunfermline, Fife, on January 22 last year by striking her on the head, causing her to fall to the ground.
He also repeatedly struck her on the head and body by means unknown to the prosecutor, rendering her unconscious and tied the material round her neck.
McMullan, who previously served in the Army in Northern Ireland, claimed that the victim swung at him during an argument and he put his arms up in self defence. She fell and struck her head on a radiator.
But an accident and emergency doctor told the court that the injuries sustained by Ms Connelly were consistent with multiple blows to both sides of her face.
Ms Connelly said that McMullan had showed up at her home and let himself in to use the toilet before she felt a “huge blow” to the back of her head.
The 40-year-old said that she next remembered waking up in her kitchen some time later. She felt like she had been in a car crash.
Defence solicitor advocate Simon Collins said that it was clear from an assessment carried out on McMullan that he has the capacity to cause serious harm.
But he said McMullan was “very much prepared to engage” with interventions. He said that as there was an opportunity to change and an assessment that he was amenable to change McMullan should be dealt with by the imposition of a sentence that would enable him to undertake available course work.
McMullan, described as a prisoner at Perth jail, had also earlier admitted behaving in a threatening or abusive way by making threats of violence to police constables Daniel Hidalgo and Joanne McKee at Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy on January 25 last year. He was given a concurrent six month prison sentence for the offence.
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