Published: 20/03/2017 17:23 - Updated: 20/03/2017 17:27

Sutherland farmer given community payback order after threatening wife

Michael Dudgeon tried to cut down door with a chainsaw.
Michael Dudgeon tried to cut down door with a chainsaw.

A SUTHERLAND landowner has been ordered to pay his wife £350 in compensation after trying to cut her door down with a chainsaw and threatening to have someone kill her.

Michael Dudgeon (65) Crakaig Farm House, near Helmsdale, has also been placed under social work supervision for nine months, and ordered to undertake 180 hours unpaid work as part of a community pay-back order.

Dudgeon appeared for sentencing at Tain Sheriff Court today.

He had previously admitted behaving in a threatening and abusive manner at Crakaig Farm Cottage between May 1, 2014, and November 1, 2014.

Dudgeon repeatedly struck the front door of the cottage with a chainsaw and caused damage to the door, knowing that his wife, Ruth, was inside.

He also admitted a second charge of alarming his wife by uttering threats towards her between August 7 and August 21 last year at Crakaig Farm Cottage. He threatened to have her killed by others.

Sentencing was deferred for background reports and to see if Dudgeon could be of good behaviour.

Defence agent Will Young told Monday’s court that the couple were divorcing and proceedings were underway.

Mr Young said that Dudgeon was willing to carry out unpaid work although his health was not good and he had responsibilities as a farmer – he was due shortly to supervise the lambing of his 1000 strong flock.

Passing sentence Sheriff Chris Dickson said: “This incident must have been very frightening for your wife but I have taken account of all that has been said on your behalf and what is in the report.”

The sheriff ordered that the £350 compensation be paid within seven months.

He told Dudgeon that he was not going to fix a review to find out how he was progressing on the community payback order.

He said: “I expect you to comply.”

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