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RAF serviceman sentenced at Inverness for historic abuse and assaults on partners

By Ali Morrison

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Inverness Justice Centre.
Inverness Justice Centre.

An RAF serviceman who subjected two of his partners to a campaign of domestic abuse and assaults while living in Nairn and Morayshire over 20 years ago has escaped a jail sentence.

Stephen Shaw, who is still serving but now remarried and living in Bois More Road, Chesham, Buckinghamshire, was convicted of two charges of assault to injury by a jury last month.

Sentence had been deferred at Inverness Sheriff Court for a background report.

The offences took place at properties in Nairn as well as Kinloss, Burghead and Elgin, and on the road between Burghead and Roseisle, between February 1992 and December 1998.

The jury heard Shaw used abusive and derogatory terms towards his then wife between February 1992 and December 1993 and repeatedly slapped, punched and kicked her on the body to her injury.

On various occasions between April 1995 and December 1998 he assaulted his then partner, again using abusive and derogatory terms.

The court was told he repeatedly slapped and punched her on the body, whipped her naked body with a fishing rod or similar, urinated on her, held a knife against her throat while she was holding a baby and struck her with his knee.

The trial heard Shaw also tried to push the woman off a motorbike they were both riding, all to her injury.

Solicitor Brent Lockie said Shaw (52) was “a very different man today.”

He told Sheriff Margaret Neilson: “He was aged 22 and 29 when these offences were committed but there has been no further offending since. He has been in a relationship with his wife of seven years for 10 years and she describes him as ‘the best of husbands.’

“He has been in the RAF all his life and has an exemplary record.”

Mr Lockie also showed Sheriff Neilson a letter of reference from Shaw’s squadron leader and said a custodial sentence would result in the loss of his career and probably his home.

Sheriff Neilson ordered Shaw to complete the maximum 300 hours of unpaid work as an alternative to imprisonment.

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