AN ARCHITECT and mountain rescuer beat his wife over the head as she tried to crawl back into their Highland home through the cat flap, a court was told yesterday.
Victim Elizabeth Outram had become shut outside the couple’s remote cottage in Balquhidder Glen, Perthshire, during a blazing row, Stirling Sheriff Court was told.
As she tried to get back in, Nicholas Outram, 52, hit her on the head and pushed her back out through the pet hatch at the cottage where they had lived for 12 years, the court heard.
Prosecutor Adrian Fraser said the couple had been married for 24 years and that the incident occurred on 2 January, 2015.
Mr Fraser told the court: “There would appear to have been some matrimonial turmoil around the time of this particular incident.
“The couple had been arguing for two days prior to the incident and, on the day of the incident, there was an argument with the complainer having consumed two large glasses of whisky.
“The accused entered a room, and she picked up a plate and threw it at him.
“It struck him on the neck, and I’m told that was what sparked what then took place.
“The accused came towards her and grabbed her by the neck with both hands, and then threw her to the ground. She stood back up again and shouted back at him that she wouldn’t do what he wanted her to do, she would do what she wanted to do.
“She indicates that the accused grabbed her again by the neck with both hands and dragged her to the hallway. She indicates they were shouting at each other.”
Mr Fraser said Mrs Outram then found herself outside the house.
He said: “She managed to crawl back in through a cat flap in the door. He pushed her back out through the cat flap.”
Mr Fraser said Outram’s wife had described her husband as repeatedly hitting her on the head as she was trying to get through the cat flap.
She eventually got back into the house, and the authorities were contacted – initially by the accused calling NHS 24 to express concerns about his wife’s mental health.
Mr Fraser said that, during the phone call to NHS 24, the operator could hear Mrs Outram shouting in the background and police were alerted.
Outram was arrested and spent a night in the cells before being released to appear in court again yesterday.
Mrs Outram suffered a skinned right knee, bruising to her right forearm, bruising on top of her feet, a “bump” on the left hand side of her head and a sore left index finger. Her leggings were described as “covered in mud”.
However, she declined medical attention.
Outram pleaded guilty to assaulting his wife to her injury. He was fined £600.
The court heard the couple were both stalwart members of their local mountain rescue team and had two grown-up daughters.
Defence agent Stephen Maguire said Outram, a first offender, had been living with his parents in Edinburgh since the incident, but that the couple hoped to reconcile.
He described Mrs Outram as “a talented lady” who was not, however, currently working, while Outram was an architect with skills in software development.
Mr Maguire said: “The background was a build-up of financial and emotional pressures. Unfortunately on this particular evening, so many issues boiled over.
“He [Outram] accepts his behaviour was inexcusable. It could have implications for his employment, but he is not really clear about that. Thankfully the injuries sustained by his wife were not serious ones. “