Glasgow & West Scotland

Stuart Johnston lied to newspapers after beating partner

A man who claimed in the national media that his partner had been attacked for a cigarette has been convicted of carrying out the assault.

Stuart Johnston said his partner's facial injuries were caused by an attacker, but Aileen Kennedy later told a trial she was terrified of Johnston.

Photographs of Ms Kennedy appeared on the front page of several newspapers.

Johnston was convicted at Paisley Sheriff Court and will be sentenced at a later date.

Punch attack

The court heard how the 44-year-old unemployed builder beat Ms Kennedy and called the media to create the impression she had been attacked in a park.

Giving evidence against him, the 43-year-old explained that was terrified of reprisals and was shielding him at first.

Johnston was eventually charged with attempting to defeat the ends of justice and assaulting his partner by punching her on the face to her injury.

He denied the charges, but giving evidence against him, Ms Kennedy told how she had pleaded with him to stop hitting her when violence erupted during an argument in July 2011.

She said: "We had an argument - about something stupid, as usual, and he hit me three or four times on my face with his fists. I said - please, you're going to end up killing me - please stop."

Ms Kennedy said Johnston began to make up the story and contacted the media, giving quotes, agreeing to let their names be used and posing for photographs.

She added: "I was terrified of Stuart and just kept my mouth shut to avoid any more."

Sheriff James Spy told Johnston: "You made spurious calls to the 999 service and you told spurious stories to the newspapers all to divert suspicion from yourself."

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