A court has heard a police officer weep as a she hit back at allegations that she had abused her partner who bore her child.
PC Nicole Miller, 31, and Rochelle Kerr, a manager for Holland and Barrett, had a baby together by IVF.
Rochelle, who already had a child of her own, gave evidence in March that during the last 16 months of their four-year relationship, “short-fused” Miller repeatedly shouted and swore at her, told her she was a bad mother, forced her to leave their Stirlingshire home, tried to restrict her contact with her father, and hid her car keys when she tried to flee back to her mother.
West Lothian-based response officer Miller was arrested and grilled on tape for over two hours by detectives at Falkirk Police Station in August 2020 after Rochelle’s mother phoned police for “advice”.
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A video of the police interview was played to Falkirk Sheriff Court, where Miller denies engaging in a course of domestic abuse towards Rochelle at their Grangemouth home between April 1st 2019 and August 20th 2020 — contrary to the Scottish Government’s 2018 Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act.
Miller, who revealed Rochelle had been only her second gay relationship, said she had “spent all her money” trying to ensure that they could be a family.
She said she had Rochelle had decided to have IVF — using Miller’s egg — so they would have a biological child each.
She said: “At first I didn’t want a biological child, but the more I was involved I did want kids.
“I said I’d like a biological child and she said she’d carry it.”
She said during arguments she had “asked for space sometimes” but had never asked Rochelle to leave the house and instead went to her own parents who lived nearby.
She said when this happened, Rochelle would be quickly on the phone asking her to come back, saying she did not want to be in the house without her.
Miller told investigators: “I was completely torn [between] trying to do the right thing and to have that human space to think in my brain.
“That was what I wasn’t getting, and that’s essentially why I ended the relationship”
She told police that in their last few months together, she and Rochelle had quite a few disagreements, but “nothing above and beyond the normal disagreements and arguments.”
She said: “[Sometimes] we were arguing about the same thing for so long we would be going round in circles.
“When I speak I’m quite to the point, but I’m never aggressive.
“The allegation is that I’ve been shouting and swearing but that’s not what’s been happening.
“Being a police officer I have a lot of swear words in my vocabulary, but I never swore at her.
“We were both… we were terrible for talking over each other, for defending ourselves rather than listening.”
She said she had tried to resolve issues with Rochelle’s father, who was unhappy about Rochelle being in a relationship with a female.
Weeping, she explained how the cost of the IVF treatment had hit her.
She said: “I spent all my money, I tried really hard for our family.
“she [Rochelle] was so erratic.
“I’ve tried to get away.
“It’s not how it’s been portrayed and that’s the sad thing about it.”
She revealed that she and Rochelle, whom she said had formerly lived in America, had met through online dating.
She said: “We loved each other.”
She also revealed that she had been left “anxious and hyper-vigilant” after an incident at work in which she was strangled, playing it over in her head and having night sweats.
Earlier, Rochelle, 35, told the court she and Nicole had got engaged in November 2018.
She said: “I knew she really wanted a child, but she didn’t want to carry it, and I thought it would help our dynamic.”
She said of Miller’s behavior during their relationship: “She’d scream and shout and swear. She doesn’t have control over herself. She has a really bad temper.
“I started becoming so withdrawn.
“I felt trapped, controlled and manipulated.”
She said Miller also told her that her Dad didn’t love her and he was “homophobic.”
Rochelle said: “I didn’t feel I was able to have as much contact with my Dad as I wanted to because of the fights that would come off the back of it.”
The summary trial, before Sheriff Wyllie Robertson, sitting without a jury, will continue on May 30th.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.