A high-ranking army doctor, accused of subjecting his wife to a year-long campaign of domestic bullying, has told a court that he found evidence an alleged affair while searching the internet for a butter chicken recipe.
Lieutenant Colonel Simon Bloodworth, 48, arranged an interdict against his wife Lisa, 51, after he discovered a history of online searches for jobs and housing in the Cheshire area, where he knew she had a male friend.
It is alleged he controlled her finances, banned her from going back to work and had knowledge of passwords to her devices and social media accounts.
He denies engaging in a course of abusive behaviour towards his wife in Scotland and Germany, between April 1 2019 and April 6 2020
He is further accused of threatening to kill the family’s pet dog.
Taking the witness stand on day two of his trial, Bloodworth told how he was at home in Invergordon when he suspected his wife was having an affair.
“I went online to look for a recipe for buttered chicken,” he said.
“I had used the recipe before so I went into the browser history and looked over the last 10 days.
“There were multiple searches for housing and jobs in Cheshire.
“I knew that she had a male friend in Cheshire and she had been searching for jobs and things in the area where he lived.”
‘So many people threaten to kill their pets’
A later argument with his wife led to the comment about the dog, he said.
“Our Chihuahua was jumping up on me and jumping onto my iPad.
“I must admit I was getting frustrated.
“I said: ‘Oh for God’s sake, would you stop it? I will take you out into the woods and shoot you’.
“That was not a credible threat. I was on the edge at the time, because I had just had an argument with my wife.”
Under cross-examination by depute fiscal Rebecca Kynaston, he said the comment was “half in humour and half in frustration”.
He added: “I think so many people threaten to kill their pets, without ever meaning to kill their pets.”
Bloodworth, who denies all charges, told the court how he had tracked down his wife after she fled the family home, using an app to locate an iPad in her car.
The court heard Mrs Bloodworth left the house in November 2019, after telling her husband she was meeting a friend.
Later that evening, he rang her, her sister Rooney and mother Doris, but got no response.
He drove to Perthshire where her family stay and saw Rooney’s partner Matthew Skinner was still awake at their home in Coupar Angus.
“He was switching off the lights and going off to bed.
“I knocked on the door but got no answer. I got back in the car and drove off.”
Bloodworth stopped after a short while to send Mr Skinner a text message.
The court heard the text, saying his wife was missing, was sent just after 1am.
Later that morning, at home in Invergordon, he used a tracking app to locate an iPad in his wife’s car. It was at the Macdonald’s holiday resort in Aviemore.
“I went to Aviemore. It was probably about 7.30am.
“I parked in a car park nearby and waited in the car where it was warm.
“I was texting my father and missed them coming out of the hotel.
“I followed them. My only intention was to find out what was going on. I didn’t have a firm plan.”
He followed his wife into a supermarket car park and claims she said she would return home the next day, so he left.
‘No winners in a nuclear war’
Later, he was called by his father-in-law Robert Hall, who invited him to a meeting at their home in Blairgowrie.
He told the court that during the meeting, he said if his wife did not address her drinking, he would have “no option but to go nuclear,” meaning he would seek a divorce.
“I used that phrase because there are no winners in a nuclear war.”
He agreed to move out of his home and into his parents’ house next door because he had “come to the end of my emotional tether” but later he texted his sister-in-law and told her he had changed her mind.
The following night, when his wife had failed to return home, he returned to the Halls’ home in Blairgowrie.
“I knocked on the door twice with a knuckle, rang the bell, knocked again, and then got back in the car and drove away.”
As he drove home, he was phoned by police in Perth who asked him to come to the Barrack Street station for an interview.
The trial, before Sheriff Neil Bowie, continues.