Saturday 21 July 2018

Man jailed after subjecting wife to 30 years of domestic abuse

On one occasion Robert Simmons forced his wife to stand in an outbuilding while he hosed her with cold water

Robert Simmons admitted 11 charges of physical and verbal abuse Police Scotland
Robert Simmons admitted 11 charges of physical and verbal abuse Police Scotland

Lydia Smith

A man who abused his wife for nearly 30 years has been jailed for two years and eight months.

Robert Simmons, 62, a self-employed farmer from Sandness in Shetland, subjected his spouse to physical abuse and coercive, humiliating treatment.

He admitted 11 charges of physical and verbal abuse dating from December 1988 to last March.

On one occasion in the 1990s, he forced his wife to stand in an outbuilding while he hosed her with cold water.

In 1991, Mr Simmons forced the woman into the boot of the family car after she fled their home on foot.

Another incident saw him force his wife to lie on the floor before standing on her head, leaving her with two black eyes.

In 2015, Mr Simmons struck his wife during a minor disagreement, giving her a bloody nose and a black eye.

Later that year, he hit his wife across the back of her legs with a plastic pipe.

Lerwick sheriff court heard Mr Simmons manipulated his wife to exert control over her, even dictating her every move by creating timetables which divided her day in 15-minute slots.

He forced her to carry a notebook called a “mistake book”, in which she had to record times she failed to please her husband.

The woman found the courage to speak out about the abuse in 2015 when she contacted the local Women’s Aid branch.

The jury was told the woman’s sense of “self-worth” disappeared as a result of years of violence.

Anne Marie Hicks, the national procurator fiscal for domestic abuse, said after the hearing: “Robert Simmons’s violent and controlling course of conduct, which endured over a period of decades, has caused his victim untold distress.

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