A THUG who carried out a four-and-a-half year campaign of domestic abuse against his girlfriend is appealing his jail sentence.
Kenneth Macmillan, 42, was locked up for 20 months for “repeated physical verbal and psychological abuse” of Shiree Afzal at properties in Dundee, Paisley and Erskine.
His solicitor Terry Gallanagh asked for leniency for his client and for him to be handed a Community Payback Order instead of jail, but Sheriff Pettigrew said a prison sentence was the only “appropriate disposal”.
Gallanagh said his client — who on Hogmanay 2010, slapped, grabbed and threw Afzal against a wall while friends looked on — regretted his conduct and was remorseful.
And now, two months on from his sentencing, Macmillan will try to have the length of his stay behind bars reduced at the High Court of Appeals in Edinburgh on
Mary Miller, manager of Women’s Aid, Dundee, said domestic abuse was still seen as a minor crime by some men, but is pleased to see attitudes in the legal system change for the good.
She said: “These crimes are often looked down on as second rate to a complete stranger of the cases.
“There’s still a sense that it is the woman’s fault and they ask ‘why didn’t she just leave him’, but unfortunately it’s a far more complex issue.
“For years, domestic abuse was actually seen as an acceptable crime and it was happening behind closed doors.
“Thankfully now, domestic abuse is high up on the agenda of the police and courts.
“I get the feeling that when some men are getting sentenced for things like this there’s actually almost a disbelief that the punishment has been so strong.”
Macmillan also used racially abusive language towards Afzal during their relationship after they met on an internet dating site in November 2008.
They moved in together in 2009 and by May 2010 Macmillan was regularly assaulting her.
Paisley Sheriff Court heard he also called his partner “fat and ugly” on one occasion and in March 2011 he directed bigoted language at Afzal.
He grabbed Afzal by the throat in August 2012, pushed her against their bedroom wall and threatened to kill her.
The pair separated when Afzal moved to a house in Erskine in November 2012 and at the same time Macmillan returned to live in Dundee, but distance did not stop the abuse from continuing.
He inundated her with texts and Facebook messages where he racially abused her and some of his comments were hurtful about her size and appearance and others even claimed that he hoped she would die.