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'Vicious' man who choked and held woman captive jailed

John Lawson attacked the woman after she tried to walk out of his flat in Dundee.

Lansdowne Court: He pinned the woman down.
Lansdowne Court: He pinned the woman down.

A man who forced a woman to throw messages in bottles from a high rise window pleading for help after he abducted her has been jailed.

John Lawson has been sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison following the attack on the woman after she tried to walk out of his flat in Dundee's Lansdowne Court.

He dragged her back in before "detaining her against her will" and locked her in the flat.

Lawson then pinned the woman down and choked her so viciously that she could not breathe or speak.

He then fell asleep, leaving the terrified woman locked in and completely unable to escape.

She first tried to hang a knotted bed sheet out of a window in a bid to climb down but dropped it five floors to the ground when she realised how far she would fall.

The woman then wrote a note and put it in a bottle and threw it at a passer-by who did not see it and walked on.

She then threw a second note at a man walking towards his granddaughter's house nearby.

He spotted it and looked up to see her standing on a balcony, where she made a "be quiet" gesture before putting her hands together in a praying motion then running her finger across her throat.

The note read: "Call police, he almost killed me. Don't buzz or knock. Kick the door in. Pls help."

Fiscal depute Vicki Bell told Dundee Sheriff Court: "The incident started at around 4am on April 29. Police attended at around 8am.

"Fresh injuries were observed on her when they gained entry including multiple bruises on her face and neck and a cut and swelling on her lip.

"In relation to the compression of her neck she said he was squeezing it so hard with both hands that she could not breathe or say anything.

"When she was locked in she couldn't find a key to get out or find her phone.

"She was certainly a desperate woman at the time."

Lawson, 35, a prisoner at HMP Perth, pleaded guilty on indictment to charges of behaving in a threatening and abusive manner and abduction.

Defence solicitor Gary McIlravey said: "He is thoroughly ashamed of himself and is quite appalled by his behaviour.

"The complainer is still in a relationship with him, visits him weekly in prison and still lives in his flats."

Sheriff Alastair Brown said: "It is important that everybody understands that a man who compresses the throat or neck of his domestic partner and who comes before me can expect to be dealt with very seriously.

"I see that conduct repeatedly. It is dangerous, frightening and absolutely unacceptable."

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