Woman faces 14 abuse charges including grabbing ex’s by genitals

Inverness Crown Court. Picture: Flickr/Creative commons Licence
Inverness Crown Court. Picture: Flickr/Creative commons Licence
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A woman has appeared in court accused of a catalogue of horrific domestic abuse against two ex-boyfriends.

Joanne Coombs faces 14 separate charges including grabbing them by their genitals and attacking them with broken glass.

It was also claimed the 34 year old stonemason left one of her alleged victims with broken ribs and black eyes and also dragged him along the road as he tried to get out of the car she was driving.

Inverness Crown Court heard a list of charges against Coombs from Croy, a village near Inverness, relating to attacks on Ian Scorgie and Carl Wheatley, carried out between January 1, 2010 and the end of 2014.

Both men gave evidence from behind screens and were accompanied in court by witness support officers.

Giving evidence Mr Scorgie, 40 said: “She is a very insecure person but anything could start an argument.

“Joanne is a really nice girl, but she has a flip side.”

Meatloaf tribute concert

The first attack happened, he said, after she had been at a Meatloaf tribute concert at the city’s Ironworks.

“Joanne came to my flat and banged on the door and she was quite drunk.

“She came across some text messages from an ex-girlfriend of mine.

“She started shouting and ripped off my blue Diesel T-shirt that I was wearing.

“I took my phone out and said I was on the phone to the police and she calmed down and went downstairs.”

The second attack, on February 5, 2012, he said, came after he moved into her home with her.

He said he was at his mother’s home when Coombs called him on his mobile, unhappy he was not at their flat.

Mr Scorgie said: “I made my excuses to my mum and went to the flat.

“She was still in a mood when I got back, so I went to bed.

“But that’s when the argument and craziness with her started.

“I was awoken by her grabbing my leg. I went to try and stand up properly and she was crouched at my waist when she grabbed me by the penis.”

‘She was holding on for minutes’

He said Coombs began pulling down on his genitalia and that he grabbed her arms to try and stop her.

Eventually Mr Scorgie said he was forced to headbutt her twice to get her to let go of his genitals.”

He added: “I couldn’t get her to stop. She was holding on for minutes, not seconds.”

During the same incident Coombs is alleged to have repeatedly struck Mr Scorgie on the head with a knife to his injury and permanent disfigurement.

In other charges she is alleged to have thrown a mobile phone at him, striking him on the head and hand, and to have seized him by the mouth, gouging his gum with her fingernail.

In evidence forestry worker Scorgie did admit that he had been jailed for stalking Coombs after they broke up, but described his own torment in the aftermath of their relationship.

“I lost my job and ended up on anti-depressants,” he said.

“My head was a mess for those two-and-a-half to three years.

“I was blind and stupid and listened to her apologies.”

Her second alleged victim Mr Wheatley, told the court that he was attacked on various occasions throughout 2014 when he and Coombs were together.

The 43 year old supermarket department manager, said Coombs stabbed him with the stem of a broken wine glass some time in February 2014, causing him to faint.

“When I woke up I had five broken ribs, black eyes and blood everywhere,” he said.

He added that, looking in the mirror, he saw the imprint on the side of his head of Coombs’ shoes.

In another incident he said the pair got into an argument after he secured a new job in Aberdeen.

The pair were staying at a Premier Inn hotel in the city on November 7, 2014 when he said she began complaining that the new job meant she would have to move home.

“She became angry and told me I had ruined her life,” he said.

He said they were in bed and she was in high heels when she began stamping on his leg.

Broken finger

She also grabbed him by the genitals, he said, and in the course of trying to get her off him, she fell over and grabbed one of his fingers, breaking it.

Mr Wheatley accepted that this last was an accidental injury.

He also told the court how another row had developed as they were driving between Nairn and Croy on November 27 and 28, 2014.

She pulled into a layby, he said, and he had attempted to exit the vehicle to give her a chance to cool down.

“I had one leg in the passenger footwell when she reversed at speed,” he said.

“I was screaming at her ‘Stop. I can’t hold on’.”

He fell and was dragged along the ground.

The trial before Sheriff Gordon Fleetwood is set to continue today.