SDL marcher kicked pregnant girlfriend in stomach

A man kicked his pregnant girlfriend in the stomach during a brutal attack after he returned home from a far-right Scottish Defence League march.

James Mullen rounded on a Polish neighbour who tried to stop the assault and told him: “F*** off back to your own country” before threatening to stab him.

Mullen squeezed Christine McLeod’s throat with his bare hands during the attack and at one stage she curled up trying to protect her stomach as he repeatedly kicked her.

When police arrived Mullen, who was 19 at the time, told them: “I went too far, I only wanted to propose to her.”

The High Court in Edinburgh heard that Mullen also injured a 10-year-old girl during his violent outburst and lashed out at officers and said to one that he would “stab him”.

After Mullen, now 20, of Holyrood Court, admitted a string of offences his counsel, Gareth Jones, asked for his bail to be continued ahead of sentencing.

But Lord Bannatyne remanded him in custody. The judge said: “Having regard to the charges it is inappropriate bail is continued.”

Unemployed Mullen pled guilty to assaulting Ms McLeod, 30, to the danger of her life on July 6 last year at a flat and stairwell in Kirk Street in Leith.

During the attack he forced the pregnant woman to the ground and straddled her and compressed her throat. He struck her head off walls and on the ground and repeatedly punched and kicked her.

He also admitted assaulting the girl by repeatedly slamming a door on her arm and assaulting Slawomir Slawinski by threatening him with violence, saying he would stab him.

Mullen also admitted acting in a racially aggravated way and resisting police.

Advocate depute Richard Goddard said Mullen had moved into the flat at Kirk Street the day before the attack, having been in a relationship with Ms McLeod, who was six weeks pregnant with his child, for several months.

The prosecutor said: “On the morning of Saturday July 6 2013 the accused left the flat to attend a Scottish Defence League march in Aberdeen. During the day he appears to have consumed a large amount of alcohol.”

Mullen later told police he had been drinking Buckfast wine, beer and vodka all day since leaving for Aberdeen and fell asleep on the bus journey back and this had put him in a bad mood.

When he returned home Ms McLeod noted he appeared to be very drunk. They had been due to go to a party but she told him he was not to attend.

Mr Goddard said: “On being told this the accused became annoyed and began shouting aggressively at Ms McLeod suggesting that she was embarrassed by him.”

She went to a bedroom to collect keys, but he followed her and grabbed her by the throat and forced her to the floor and began squeezing her throat as she struggled to free herself.

“The victim reports the grasp felt like a lot of pressure and she began to struggle to breathe,” said Mr Goddard. She heard Mullen shout: “You are not going anywhere.”

Mullen suddenly released his grip and said he needed to get an ambulance. The victim managed to get up and went to the front door but he started shouting and screaming at her again.

The girl had heard cries for help and was starting to go into the flat, but Mullen slammed the door against her arm until she withdrew it.

Mullen began punching Ms McLeod and pushed her against a wall in the hallway. She fell to the floor and he began to kick her on the head and side.

Mr Goddard said: “The victim thinks this went on for a number of minutes as she curled up to try to protect, in particular, her stomach. She could heard children outside the flat screaming.”

The woman managed to get out into the close, but Mullen continued the assault punching her on the head and kicking her in the stomach. The victim managed to get out of the flats after Mr Slawinski’s intervention.

Neighbours called the police and when officers arrived Mullen said: “You’re looking for me. I went too far, I only wanted to propose to her.”

The advocate depute said: “Despite his initial calm appearance the accused then became aggressive towards the officers and began to lash out by attempting to kick them, butt them with his head and punch them.”

During an interview Mullen told police that he believed the relationship was on good terms and that the couple did not really argue, but when they did sometimes “a switch just turns” and he became really angry. He acknowledged Ms McLeod was pregnant with his child.

He said before police turned up he returned to the flat and saw blood over the walls and said to himself: “What have I done?”

The first offender claimed that he never intentionally hurt anyone and stated he felt like “a dick”.

Lord Bannatye deferred sentence on Mullen for the preparation of a background report.

The Scotsman

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