Man behind viral dress pinned wife to ground and strangled her

Keir Johnston also brandished a knife at his partner during the brutal assault on Colonsay in the Inner Hebrides.

Keir Johnston behind viral dress pinned wife to ground and strangled her before brandishing knife

A man who went viral after a dress bought for his wedding “broke the internet” has admitted carrying out a brutal assault on his wife.

Keir Johnston turned on his partner – at one stage threatening: “Somebody is going to die”.

The 38-year-old pinned the woman to the ground, choked her before also brandishing a knife.

She desperately sent messages to friends begging for help as she knew it would take police too long to get to their home on the Isle of Colonsay in the Inner Hebrides.

But, the traumatised woman eventually dialled 999 yelling down the phone: “My husband is trying to kill me.”

The attack on March 6 2022 came seven years after the couple gained worldwide fame for the dress the mother of the bride wore at their wedding.

It sparked a global debate over its colours – black and blue or white and gold.

It was nicknamed “The Dress That Broke the Internet” after a guest shared a photo of the garment online.

The once happy couple went on to appear on the Ellen DeGeneres Show in the USA, where they were handed $10,000 and a luxury trip to Grenada.

But, the judge heard of a history of “domestic abuse” at the hands of Johnston towards his wife.

It lead to him appearing in the dock at the High Court in Glasgow, where he had been due to stand trial.

But, the petrol station attendant – via his lawyer Marco Guarino – instead pleaded guilty to a charge of assaulting the woman to her injury and the danger of life.

Johnston, of Moffat, Dumfriesshire, had been on bail, but he was remanded in custody by Lady Drummond pending sentencing next month.

Prosecutor Chris Macintosh told how it was accepted Johnson’s wife had suffered previous domestic violence – including her husband trying to strangle her – before the attack in 2022.

Mr Macintosh said: “There is no permanent police presence on the island and she was in a situation where she felt trapped.”

Days before the assault, the woman had gone to the mainland for a job – but Johnston had not wanted her to.

In the hours prior to him turning on his wife, Johnston had been drinking at a pub quiz. His wife had been elsewhere.

She got “strange texts” including him stating: “You should support me, but you do not.”

This left her “worried and anxious”, but she returned home where her husband already was.

Mr Macintosh said: “Johnston woke up and said that he was going to leave her.

“She went outside the property to stop him leaving.

“He followed her and pinned her to the ground. He placed both knees on her arms, so she was unable to move.

“He then began strangling her with both his hands.

“She was initially able to scream. She feared for her life and believed Johnston intended to kil her. He was very forceful.”

A witness heard the screams and tried to pull Johnston away.

He initially stopped and went back inside – but stormed back out threatening to “finish” his wife “off”. Johnston again choked her.

The husband was seen clutching a knife – the frightened woman managed to “keep her distance” as she believed he would stab her.

After the woman got no reply from friends, she dialled 999. The harrowing call was played in court.

A witness also raced to get her help.

The woman was soon discovered “crying and hyperventilating”.

She was so upset she could only partially explain her ordeal.

Johnston meantime was found hiding under a desk in his cottage still clutching a knife. He briefly put the blade to his throat at one stage, but the weapon was grabbed from him.

The woman suffered “visible” bruising and marks to her neck as a result of the assault, but luckily needed no medical treatment.

The court heard Johnston later “alluded to previous episodes of marital violence” when talking to a doctor.

He also described bouts of “emotional distress” since he was a child.

Mr Guarino said Johnston had always accepted responsibility for assaulting his wife that night.

He urged Lady Drummond to continue bail for the first offender.

But, the judge told Johnston: “I have no need to tell you that this is a serious and violent offence.

“You repeatedly strangled her, injured her and put her life in danger in what must have been absolutely terrifying circumstances for her.

“I am afraid, Mr Johnston, that your status has now changed, you have been convicted of a very serious crime and you will be remanded meantime.”

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