Glasgow & West Scotland

John Paul Dempsey faces jail for attacking partner

A man is facing a jail term after being convicted of assaulting his partner for a fourth time in nine years.

John Paul Dempsey, 49, struck Catherine Wallace with a knife on the neck at a house Kirkintilloch, East Dunbartonshire, in April this year.

He was originally charged with attempted murder but was convicted of the lesser charge of assault to severe injury and permanent disfigurement.

Sentence on Dempsey was deferred at the High Court in Edinburgh.

The court heard how there has continued to be contact between Dempsey and his victim.

Defence counsel Derick Nelson urged judge Lord Boyd to impose an extended sentence, involving a period of imprisonment followed by supervision.

'Escalating violence'

Lord Boyd pointed out that Dempsey had six previous convictions for crimes of violence, three of which had gone to the High Court.

The judge said it was his fourth conviction for assaulting his partner and added: "I am very concerned at the escalation of the violence you are demonstrating towards her."

He said he had to ensure the safety of the public.

Lord Boyd said Dempsey sought to put "a high level of blame" on the victims of his violence and that taken with his drink problems led to professional advice that he posed a high risk of further offending.

The judge said he would make an order for a full risk assessment to be carried out on Dempsey which can lead to the imposition of an Order for Lifelong Restriction - a sentence with a minimum jail imposed by the court but where an offender can only be released by the parole authorities.

Lord Boyd said he was concerned at the "ratcheting up" in the violence Dempsey had shown towards his partner which had started with a punch in his first offence against her which resulted in a conviction in 2003.

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