Abusive boyfriend Andrew Murray faces jail term

Abusive boyfriend who was released on appeal after stalking murdered ISIS hostage David Haines’ daughter admits campaign of cruelty against four more women

  • Andrew Murray, 26, from Perth admitted being cruel to four different women 
  • He had previously been convicted of stalking the daughter of David Haines 
  • The court heard Murray was controlling and violent towards several victims  

An abusive boyfriend who was jailed then released on appeal for stalking the daughter of murdered ISIS hostage David Haines has admitted a campaign of cruelty against four other women.

Andrew Murray was imprisoned for 21 months in 2017 after a court heard how he taunted Perth woman Bethany Haines about her father’s death at the hands of extremists.

It was part of a ‘degrading and humiliating’ campaign of abuse which lasted six months, Perth Sheriff Court heard.

Andrew Murray, 26, from Perth, pictured outside Perth Sheriff Court in 2017 will return to court on January 26, 2022 where he will be sentenced following his conviction for abusing four women

Murray had previously been jailed for stalking Bethany Haines, pictured, although that sentence was later declared as too harsh by an appellant court

In January 2018, appeal court judges agreed the sentence was too severe and Murray was re-sentenced to unpaid work. 

On Tuesday, Murray, 26, returned to the same court and admitted further abusive behaviour against three then-girlfriends, including two after the period he was released.

Fiscal depute Michael Sweeney described a disturbing course of conduct that lasted six years involving four girlfriends.

Murray, of Geyfriars Hostel, Perth, pleaded guilty to a charge of, between November 2013 and July 2018, he engaged in a course of conduct which placed his then partner in a state of fear or alarm.

At locations in Coupar Angus and Alyth, he shouted and swore at her, called her derogatory names and monitored her phone conversations.

‘When she turned 18, she felt that he became very controlling,’ said Mr Sweeney.

‘He started arguments with her, calling her friends junkies and alcoholics to try and drive a wedge between her and her friends.’

Bethany is the daughter of murdered British aid worker David Haines who was killed by ISIS extremist Jihadi John in September 2014

On various occasions between June 2014 and December 2015, he assaulted her by striking her on the face, seizing her by the clothing and pulling her towards him.

He repeatedly threw objects including a mobile phone at her.

Murray also admitted seizing her by the throat and slamming her on to a sofa bed and pinning her down.

He further admitted that between September 2016 and October 2016, at another address in Coupar Angus, he assaulted another then-partner and threw a glass at her.

Between August 2018 and March 2019, at addresses in Muirhead, he engaged in a course of conduct that placed a third woman, then his girlfriend, in a state of fear or alarm.

He monitored her social media and phone conversations, while accusing her of cheating and threatening to harm her.

In March 2019, he attacked her and threw her against a wall, to her injury.

‘She was constantly intimidated by the accused,’ said Mr Sweeney.

‘He called her fat and ugly.

‘He told her: No one would want to be with you. You won’t be with anyone after me’.’

Murray further admitted a course of behaviour that was abusive towards another partner between April and October 2019.

The court heard he repeatedly accused her of lying and being unfaithful, and demanded to know her location.

He punched walls and called her names such as ‘slut’ and ‘whore’.

Sheriff Euan Duthie deferred sentence until January 26 for background reports.

He released Murray on bail, telling him: ‘I have to say that a custodial sentence is at the forefront of my mind.’

Bethany Haines, then 20, previously told of her terror after judges freed Murray in 2018.

She said: ‘I cannot believe that someone who did such horrible things and is a danger to the public can be let off to do community payback.’

Bethany’s father, charity worker David, 44, was killed by terrorists in September 2014.

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