Suzie McGuire’s husband escapes jail sentence

Derek Mitchell leaves court. Picture: HeMedia

Derek Mitchell leaves court. Picture: HeMedia

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THE husband of former Clyde 1 DJ Suzie McGuire has been spared jail after being convicted of a string of domestic abuse charges including breaking her finger.

Derek Mitchell 36, was convicted committing of a number of assaults which took place in 2011.

After being convicted in November last year after a three week trial at Paisley Sheriff Court he learned his fate today.

Sheriff Susan Sinclair handed Mitchell a community payback order with the conditions that he will be supervised for two years, must carry out 300 hours of unpaid work in six months and attend a domestic abuse programme.

He must also go for alcohol counselling and conform to a non-harassment order for the next six months, not to approach or contact or attempt to approach or contact Miss McGuire.

Passing sentence the sheriff told him: “You now accept you have a serious issue with the abuse of alcohol and have started taking steps to deal with it.

“Neverthelessm your conduct during 2011, in particular May 20 2011 was reprehensible.

“Your actions were that of a spoiled, jealous, possessive man with a predication for violence.”

The sheriff added: “You have been convicted of a serious assault in the presence of two small children and two further minor assaults on the complainer all during 2011.”

She said that the relationship was “volatile” and that she “cannot be satisfied” that there is no alternative to a custodial sentence.

Facebook page

Procurator fiscal depute Amanda Gallagher brought to sheriff’s attention that a Facebook page has been set up and has posts on it which “purport” to be private text messages, tax invoices and “other personal information” about Miss McGuire.

She said Miss McGuire is “understandably very upset about this”.

The sheriff said that if it could be proved then they could be prosecuted for and that it was a matter for another court.

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The accountant was found guilty of three assaults between May and December 2011, including breaking his wife’s wedding finger after a local fair.

He was also found guilty of committing a breach of the peace at the family home in Eaglesham in November 2009, the day after a family party.

READ MORE: Suzie McGuire trial:‘DJ had affair while pregnant’

Mitchell drunkenly pulled his wife’s wedding finger back - breaking it, in front of her daughters in May 2011 near to their home on Pulnoon Street, Eaglesham.

In a rage at a military event in September 2011 that Miss McGuire was hosting, Mitchell grabbed his wife and pulled her away, calling her a slut.

Months later in December 2011 the violent dad-of-two humiliated the DJ after she had hosted the Cash for Kids event and slapped her while she chatted with businessman Mike Ashley and even threw a punch at him.

He lodged a special defence of self-defence in relation to the broken finger claiming he was trying to stop his wife attacking him, but the jury rejected this version of events.

The former drivetime presenter gave evidence from behind screens at the court and described her husband as “controlling” and “manipulative”.

‘Anger issues’

Mitchell, she said, was a “prince charming that turned into a Jekyll and Hyde character” who had anger management issues and that she couldn’t predict.

The 45-year-old claimed she was flattered when a younger man showed her attention and wanted a family - the same as she did - and claimed she repeatedly took him back despite being berated daily and assaulted by the man who claimed to love her.

She told the jury: “That’s the embarrassing thing, I went back to that. I will never ever forgive myself for putting my children through that.”

She said she was so “broken” in March last year, she went to an area behind Bonnyton Golf course and took 40 Paracetamol and a litre of vodka in an attempt to end her life.

Addressing the court in his plea in mitigation, Mr Lavelle said: “This was a relationship in which both parties were engaged in volatility towards each other and of course the accused has been convicted by a jury of assaults over the course of 2011.”

He said the “shock” of his conviction made Mitchell accept he was an alcoholic and he has since been getting help.

Referring to the most serious charge Mitchell was convicted of, breaking Miss McGuire’s finger, he said that was admitted although still maintains he was acting in self-defence.

He said it was “highly significant” that the jury deleted parts of the charge, including that Mitchell grabbed hold of his wife’s hand, and they left the part that was always admitted.

Mr Lavelle invited the sheriff not to send Mitchell to jail. He said: “It would of course materially impact how it would affect his relationship with the kids, that’s clearly something which is close to his heart.”

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