Scottish ex-prison officer jailed for three-year ‘reign of terror’ against former partners

An ex-prison officer has been jailed for abusing two former partners, giving one woman a black eye and threatening to ‘ragdoll’ a man who another victim spoke to.

Lewis McGarrigle, 25, carried out a reign of terror over a three-year period and subjected two former girlfriends to fits of jealousy and threats.

He even violently attacked one woman while she slept.

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He resigned from his job in the prison service after his crimes came to light, and was jailed for seven months at Greenock Sheriff Court, Renfrewshire.

Greenock Sheriff Court. Picture: SATB/JP License

McGarrigle, of Port Glasgow, Renfrewshire, gave one of the women a black eye by elbowing her in the face during one attack.

He made the other too scared to even talk to male colleagues at work, during the abuse between October 1, 2016, and May 1, 2018.

The ‘jealous’ thug pleaded guilty to a total of six out of 11 charges which had been levelled against him - including a string of assaults and menacing behaviour which sparked fear and alarm.

In March last year, drunken McGarricle returned to the flat where his lover was sleeping and sat on top of her, restraining her until her screams alerted neighbours who dialled 999.

In another attack, which McGarrigle admitted, he restrained the woman on a sofa and put his hand over her mouth.

Prosecutor David Glancy said: “She was wakened by him sitting on top of her on the bed and restraining her.

“Her screams alerted a neighbour and police were called.”

Two months later, in May 2018, he threatened the second woman with violence and told her he would ‘ragdoll’ one of her male colleagues.

Mr Glancy said: “Both the accused and the woman were working as dispatchers for the Scottish Ambulance Service at the time.

“It became increasingly apparent that the accused appeared to have major issues with jealousy.

“In the staff canteen he challenged her about the fact that she was working alongside a male colleague.

“He told her, ‘If you go with him I’ll batter you and ragdoll him in the car park’.

“There was no question that she had any interest in this person - she just simply sat beside him at work.

“But this was not the way things were perceived by the accused.

“His behaviour affected her working relationships because she was apprehensive to speak to any of her male colleagues.”

He carried out two assaults on the first woman, including pushing her and causing her to fall and placing her in fear and alarm.

McGarrigle’s actions came to light last year when the two women became aware of each other and began discussing when their respective relationships with him began, the court was told.

He also shouted and swore at the second woman, in what was described in court as a ‘tantrum’, because she was taking too long to phone him a taxi.

He was accused of covering her nose and holding a cushion against her face, but this charge was dropped.

The court accepted not guilty pleas to repeatedly punching internal walls, placing the first woman in fear and alarm, throwing a lighter at her head, sending threatening messages to her and repeatedly striking her on the head.

McGarrigle denied an allegation of punching the second woman on the body, seizing her arm and twisting it to injury, which was also accepted by the court.

Just before Christmas last year McGarrigle assaulted the second complainant and was given a 90-hour unpaid work order at Glasgow Sheriff Court.

His defence brief said: “He wishes me to apologise to the complainers and the court and he accepts that his actions were unacceptable.

“He resigned his prison service job when these issues came to light and brought unwanted attention.”

“He has shown good insight into his offending and is assessed as suitable for unpaid work.”

Sheriff Thomas Ward told McGarrigle: “You have pleaded guilty to a series of offences against two different women over a relatively long period of time, and you already have a conviction for assaulting one of them.

“In the circumstances I consider that there is no other appropriate way of dealing with you other than by a period of imprisonment.”

McGarrigle was sentenced to a total of 217 days behind bars, and a three-year non-harassment order was imposed preventing him from attempting to approach or contact one of the women.

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