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Pregnant woman left with black eyes by abusive partner

Derek McLaren targeted four women between June 1999 and August 2016.

Derek McLaren: Domestic abuser given extended sentence of ten years.
Derek McLaren: Domestic abuser given extended sentence of ten years.

A pregnant woman was left with black eyes by her partner during a campaign of domestic abuse.

Derek McLaren was given an extended sentence of ten years after being convicted of targeting four women between June 1999 and August 2016.

On one occasion, the 50-year-old pinned down his pregnant girlfriend and repeatedly punched her on the head.

He headbutted his first victim during a relationship in 2000, while he assaulted another partner "every couple of weeks" during their relationship between 2007 to 2009, Dundee Sheriff Court heard.

Fiscal depute Vicki Bell said: "She fell pregnant to the accused three times during the relationship, each time suffering a miscarriage.

"On one occasion during her second pregnancy he knocked her to the ground in the kitchen. Whilst she was on the ground he straddled her by sitting on her chest and repeatedly punched her on the head.

"She was left with black eyes after the incident during her second pregnancy and did not leave the house for two weeks afterwards so that no one would see."

McLaren repeatedly kicked his third victim on New Year's Day in 2011, while he threw a hairdryer at the fourth woman during an attack, as well as striking her with a picture frame on a separate occasion.

The accused was sentenced on Monday after he pleaded guilty on indictment to four charges of assault to injury.

Defence solicitor Kevin Hampton said: "It is his position that he has very little recollection of these offences due to alcohol."

Sheriff Alastair Brown jailed McLaren for five years and placed him on licence for five years upon his release.

He said: "The drunken boor of a man assaulting his female partner is not just a figure in a cartoon - but has in the past and continues today to be a horrific reality for many women."

Detective sergeant Gordon Patullo said: "Derek McLaren is clearly a dangerous individual. He committed violent, sustained assaults against those who trusted him during the course of their relationships.

"The victims in this case should be commended for coming forward during the enquiry."

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