Suzie McGuire trial: Husband guilty of assaults

THE estranged husband of former Clyde 1 DJ Suzie McGuire is facing jail after being convicted of three assaults on her.

Derek Mitchell was found guilty of three separate assaults carried out in 2011.Picture: Mike Gibbons/Spindrift
Derek Mitchell was found guilty of three separate assaults carried out in 2011.Picture: Mike Gibbons/Spindrift

Derek Mitchell, 35, left his wife feeling like a broken woman who even tried to commit suicide in March 2013 in a bid to escape a “life of terror”.

Mitchell drunkenly pulled his wife’s wedding finger back, breaking it, in front of her terrified daughters.

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In a rage at an event that Miss McGuire was hosting, Mitchell also grabbed his wife and pulled her away, calling her a “slut”.

The violent father-of-two humiliated the DJ after she had hosted a Cash for Kids event and slapped her while she tried to chat to Mike Ashley, even throwing a punch at the businessman.

After a three-week trial at Paisley Sheriff Court, the accountant from East Kilbride was convicted yesterday of three assaults between May and December 2011.

He lodged a special defence of self-defence in relation to the broken finger, claiming he was trying to stop his wife attacking him, but the jury rejected this version of events.

Mitchell was also convicted of committing a breach of the peace in 2009.

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Former radio presenter Miss McGuire gave evidence from behind a screen and described her husband as “controlling” and “manipulative”.

Mitchell, she said, was a “prince charming that turned into a Jekyll and Hyde character” with anger management issues.

The 45-year-old said she was flattered when a younger man showed her attention and wanted a family, as did she.

Miss McGuire said she repeatedly took him back despite being berated daily and assaulted by the man who claimed to love her.

She told the jury: “That’s the embarrassing thing – I went back to that. I will never ever forgive myself for putting my children through that.”

Miss McGuire said he had access to her bank account and allocated her money to spend, questioning her if she used her bank card.

She told the jury she was so “broken” in March last year that she went to an area near Bonnyton golf course and took 40 paracetamol and a litre of vodka to end her life.

She said: “I don’t recognise that person now because I would have left my children with no mum.”

During her evidence, she told defence lawyer Billy Lavelle: “I was actually a woman pushed to the limit: beaten up, berated daily. I had nothing left to give. I was absolutely hanging by a thread and that thread was gone.” The domestic abuse victim said she was told daily she was old, fat and ugly, and that nobody would want her, and eventually she started to believe it.

Speaking about her suicide attempt, she said: “It wasn’t a cry for help – I took enough to kill myself to escape from a life of hell, a life of unpredictable vicious beating and torture.”

She claimed another two assaults took place at her house in November 2009 and in a car park in December 2009, only months into their relationship, but these charges were dropped and not put before a jury for consideration.

After their relationship came to an end in 2013, Miss McGuire went to the police and reported her ordeal.

In evidence, Mitchell claimed he was the victim of domestic abuse, alleging his wife was the violent one.

He claimed she attacked him on a number occasions including at Cameron House hotel while he slept, when she broke a rib and gave him two black eyes.

He also claimed he was attacked at their home in December 2012.

The defence argued that Miss McGuire reported Mitchell to the police after they split because she “no longer” had any leverage over him regarding the charges against her.

Sheriff Susan Sinclair deferred sentencing and continued bail until next month.

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