Former Lanarkshire RAF man jailed for 12 year domestic abuse campaign

An East Kilbride man has been jailed for three years after subjecting his wife to more than a decade of beatings.

His victim suffered burst eardrums, leaving her with reduced hearing and pain, and prone to infection.

Mark Burnett, who served in the Royal Air Force, was sentenced at Hamilton Sheriff Court this week.

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The 41-year-old admitted assaulting his wife, Sadie, to her injury and permanent impairment between January 2007 and August 2019.

The attacks took place at the couple’s home in Troon Court, East Kilbride, and at other locations, including an IKEA car park.

Mark Burnett’s abuse at the Troon Court house went unreported for a long period

Aga Mathieson, prosecuting, said repeated blows to the head burst the woman’s eardrums.

As well as banging his wife’s head off walls and other surfaces, Burnett caused her breathing difficulties by putting his hands and a pillow over her face.

On one occasion he held a scalpel near her eye and threatened her with a screwdriver.

The couple spent most of their married life in East Kilbride, but for a short period lived at RAF Lossiemouth when Burnett was based there.

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The court heard they often argued over Burnett being unfaithful, but he told his son: “I hit your mum to shut her up. I should not have done that.”

They were married for 14 years and, said Ms Mathieson, the assaults happened “once to three times a week”.

The prosecutor added: “At one point the accused told her he was seeking treatment for anger management.

“He didn’t assault her for six months and she believed he had changed, but it didn’t last and the regular violence summarized.”

Mrs Burnett provided various excuses for the injuries she sustained.

Once, when she was pregnant, Burnett shoved her against a wall.

She was worried about her unborn baby and went to hospital for a check up. She claimed she had slipped on ice. Fortunately, the baby was unharmed.

On another occasion she told hospital staff she had failed while getting out of the bath.

She even claimed that her infant son was responsible for bruising on her face, saying he was “going through a headbutting stage”.

Ms Mathieson told the court: “At one point Mrs Burnett was working in a medical center in East Kilbride.

“One day the office manager saw her in a distressed state, with marks on her arms.

“She disclosed that the injuries had been caused by the accused and was encouraged to report the assault to the police.

“But she didn’t feel she could do that as she wanted to keep her family together.”

After another attack Mrs Burnett was left “dazed” and went to hospital.

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She said her husband had assaulted her but again refused to report him to the police, leaving a doctor “angry” at her attitude.

The violence continued after the couple separated in 2018 and the victim later described how Burnett would be “foaming at the mouth” as he attacked her.

Finally, she reported him and he made an initial court appearance in September 2020.

Sheriff Liam Murphy told Burnett, now of Riccarton, East Kilbride: “You have pleaded guilty to a charge involving serious violence, committed systemically over a number of years.”

The sheriff ordered him to be supervised on his release from prison.

Any woman worried about domestic abuse should call Women’s Aid South Lanarkshire on 01355 249 897 or North Lanarkshire Women’s Aid on 01236 730 992. The Women’s Aid free helpline is 0800 027 1234.

Police Scotland can be contacted on 101 for non-emergencies, 999 in case of an emergency and details can be left anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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