Ex-detective convicted of domestic abuse

Former CID detective inspector Paul Swinburne outside Hamilton Sheriff Court. Picture: Sam Hardie
Former CID detective inspector Paul Swinburne outside Hamilton Sheriff Court. Picture: Sam Hardie
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A FORMER senior detective who subjected his wife to a “chilling” assault was convicted after she recorded the attack on her mobile phone.

Paul Swinburne’s wife Anne said she was bullied and battered by the policeman during a volatile 25-year relationship.

Swinburne, 55, left his partner in tears after launching into an assault at their home in East Kilbride, Lanarkshire, which saw her pinned up against a couch after he saw her recording the attack on a mobile phone.

He also told her no-one would believe her if she reported him to police because all of the officers knew him and it would be her who would be charged for attacking him.

But after speaking to a woman’s aid group, she reported him and an investigation was launched.

The former CID detective inspector was arrested in front of fellow officers, including a detective chief inspector, by police at a social event he had been attending to celebrate his 35th anniversary of joining the force.

A trial at Hamilton Sheriff Court heard how the couple’s marriage had broken down and they were sleeping in separate rooms before the attack in August last year.

Mrs Swinburne had moved into a caravan the couple bought with his pension money in Ayr but returned home to collect documents believing her husband to be out.

However, Swinburne, who retired from the police in 2011, returned and was furious when he saw her.

Sheriff Marie Smart found Swinburne guilty and told him the audio recording of the assault was the most “chilling” she had heard in more than 30 years of working in criminal courts.

She said: “In my view there could not have been a more credible witness than Anne Swinburne.

“She was a woman who was vulnerable and terrified of you in court and on the day of the incident.

“The suggestion that she set you up and no assault took place is one I totally disregard.

“The worst part of this is the recording, it is the worst recording I think I have ever heard in a court and it is ­chilling.”

The trial heard how Swinburne had grabbed hold of his wife, pinned her against the couch and left her with bruises on her body as he battled to try to get a mobile phone from her hand.

Swinburne, who runs a gardening business and who was commended five times as an officer and led investigations on numerous murder and armed robbery inquiries, had denied the assault.

He later claimed his wife had set him up and injured herself by throwing her body against the couch so she could report him for assault.

Sheriff Smart said: “This woman was subjected to the most aggressive and horrible language with the real fear that it must have induced.

“You called her a ‘shabby, shabby individual’ and you can hear her gulping in the background as she suffered this abuse from her husband, there was then a struggle where you lunged at her.”

Sentence was deferred until next month.