Judge jails alleged domestic abuse victim while ‘attacker’ walks free

Jazzy

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"An alleged domestic abuse victim has been sent to jail for not telling a court her husband had hit her.

Sheriff Elizabeth McFarlane sentenced Donna Kiddie to a fortnight behind bars for being in contempt of court, she wept and said: ‘Oh no, I have babies.’

The secondary school biology teacher spent four nights in custody, but was released after her solicitor lodged an appeal at Kilmarnock Sheriff Court.

Her husband, 42-year-old lawyer Jonathan Kiddie, was accused of assaulting his wife by striking her on the head, causing her to fall and suffer an injury. He was found not guilty.

Donna gave a statement to the police after the alleged incident on May 7, but later sent a number of emails to prosecutors to try and have the case dropped, the Daily Record reported.

She claimed to have been in a ‘collision’ with her husband, but in another email she wrote: ‘This is the first time he has assaulted me and it’s completely out of character for him.’

Sheriff McFarlane warned her about prevaricating, which is a contempt of court, but she was remanded in custody after continuing to be evasive. She was jailed for a fortnight the next day.

The sheriff accused her of ‘trying to be clever’, adding: ‘The prosecution failed because you failed to answer questions asked by the prosecution. You’re going to prison.’

Scottish Women’s Aid chief executive Marsha Scott told Metro.co.uk that they couldn’t comment on particular cases.

‘But in general, it seems blindingly obvious that jailing potential victims of domestic abuse to get them to testify in court is not acceptable,’ she added.

‘We are deeply disappointed in what we consider a failure of training, and a lack of understanding of how domestic abuse works.’

Claire Baker MSP, Scottish Labour’s spokesperson for justice, added: ‘There is strong evidence that domestic abuse in Scotland is under-reported, with many victims too scared or unwilling to come forward. The decision to imprison Donna Kiddie risks sending the wrong message to victims of domestic abuse about how their cases will be treated.

‘Serious questions have to be asked of whether this decision was justified and proportionate, and over how the justice system in Scotland deals with sensitive and emotional cases."

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