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Buckie man defied ban and took knife to Keith woman's home

By Ali Morrison

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Jody Bruce had his jail sentence extended by Inverness Sheriff Court.
Jody Bruce had his jail sentence extended by Inverness Sheriff Court.

A Buckie man serving a nine-month jail sentence has had another 14 months added to his term for domestically abusing the same woman.

Jody Bruce was imprisoned last month at Elgin Sheriff Court.

However the 45-year-old appeared today at Inverness Sheriff Court via a video link.

Bruce, who previously lived in Anderson Drive, admitted abusing the woman over a five-day period between August 18 and 23 in 2021.

He also pleaded guilty to breaching a bail condition not to contact her.

The court was told that Bruce's victim had received several phone calls which she didn't answer, except for one.

A third party had called her and put Bruce on the phone.

He then stated he still loved her and wanted "a cuddle".

Fiscal depute Emily Hood said that the woman found Bruce at her home in Keith.

He was in the sitting room and had placed a yellow-handled knife on top of the TV set.

Bruce started shouting at her.

Ms Hood said: "She grabbed for her personal attack alarm and activated it. She shouted at him repeatedly to leave but he refused."

The prosecutor added that Bruce stated that he'd brought the knife because he believed a man was in the house.

However Ms Hood claimed that leaving it beside him "implied a threat".

The prosecutor continued: "He instructed her to drive him to his home in Buckie. She complied because she wanted to get him out of her house. She then stayed at his house for two days, fearful to leave."

The court heard that Bruce's partner was seen by another witness who had gone to check on Bruce.

That witness described her as appearing "worn out and upset".

She returned home over the weekend, after which she ignored his calls.

However Bruce made an early morning phone call to the police expressing concern for her welfare.

Officers went over to her home and established that she was safe and well. The knife was still where Bruce had placed it and the woman produced an audio recording of the first incident.

When Bruce was arrested, he stated: "It is a false allegation."

Defence solicitor Stephen Carty said: "For much of his adult life, he was consuming two to three litres of vodka a day. He has been doing something about his addiction. He's married now and his wife is extremely supportive.

"But alcohol continues to be a problem for him although there have been periods of improvement in recent years."

As well as the longer jail sentence, Sheriff David Harvie also imposed a five-year non-harassment order to protect the woman.

He told Bruce: "In the previous case, you categorised your behaviour as bullying. This is a very serious example of that."

Sheriff Harvie added that he had read the victim impact statement and commented: "It is clear that your conduct has had a profound effect on your victim."

View our fact sheet on court reporting here

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