Buffalo trainer tried to ‘round up’ wife

Gavin Sangster leaves court with wife Erlinda. Picture: PA
Gavin Sangster leaves court with wife Erlinda. Picture: PA
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A BUFFALO trainer has admitted behaving in a threatening and abusive manner by trying to round up his Filipino wife in the street outside their home in Perth.

Gavin Sangster chased his wife Erlinda along a busy road and was heard shouting and swearing at her as he tried to grab her.

Sangster – who has a previous domestic abuse conviction for trying to “retrain his wife to be obedient” – admitted the offence at Perth Sheriff Court yesterday.

The 40-year-old, who trains water buffalo to race in Bali, admitted behaving in a manner likely to cause fear and alarm by chasing his wife along the street and trying to grab her. The incident took place outside their home in Dundee Road, Perth, on 22 July.

Sheriff Fiona Tait told Sangster that she would defer sentence for the preparation of reports because it was his second similar conviction within a short period.

Sangster’s attempt to herd his wife ended after she ran out into the main road and stumbled in the midst of busy traffic.

Sangster, who runs an import business, DucksRus, was said to be in financial trouble. His business was struggling and he was £20,000 in debt, the court heard.

Solicitor Billy Somerville said: “They do run the business together. Since this alleged incident, the business is not faring terribly well and he is desperately trying to do something about it.”

Sangster was previously convicted of threatening to tie his Filipino bride to his car and drag her round to “retrain her” to become an obedient wife.

Fiscal depute Carol Whyte told the court the couple met while Sangster was working in the Philippines and Bali. They have been married for nine years.

“While waiting for his friend to come with keys, he made a number of comments about his wife being a bitch. He said she required further training and had become more Western.

“He said that in Asia the man in the relationship is the one in charge and women must obey.”

He was asked to go to a police station but refused and started ranting about his wife.

Sangster told police: “She’s wasting everyone’s time. When she comes back, I’m going to tie a rope around her neck and drag her through the streets of Perth with my car.

“She needs to be trained. When she turns up, I’m going to give her a kicking.”

He was arrested and claimed the comments were about the water buffalo with which he worked. He said: “There is absolutely no correlation whatsoever between the discussion I was having with my friend regarding my buffalo training programme on the island of Bali, for racing purposes, to my future plans to cause grievous bodily harm or other injury to my wife.”

On that occasion, Sangster admitted behaving in a threatening and abusive manner by repeatedly making comments about causing physical harm to his wife.

Water buffalo racing is held in some communities in Bali and is believed to have originated in the 1920s as a way of celebrating a successful rice harvest. It has also been promoted as a tourist attraction.