Shetland man jailed for decades of domestic abuse

Robert SimmonsImage copyright Police Scotland

A Shetland man who admitted subjecting his wife to nearly 30 years of domestic abuse has been jailed for two years and eight months.

Robert Simmons, 62, of Sandness, admitted 11 different charges dating from 1988 to this year.

The father-of-six’s offences included forcing his wife into a car boot and hosing her with cold water.

Passing sentence, Sheriff Philip Mann ordered Simmons to never contact his wife again.

He said the crimes amounted to a sustained campaign of abuse.

Sheriff Mann told Lerwick Sheriff Court some of the charges on their own would have warranted a custodial sentence.

This case was described previously by procurator fiscal Duncan Mackenzie as one of the worst he had ever dealt with.

Image copyright Shetland News Agency

The self-employed crofter subjected his wife to a series of violent assaults.

Det Insp Andy Logan, of Police Scotland, said: “Robert Simmons is a controlling individual who submitted his victim to sustained abuse and suffering over the course of decades.

“The suffering he inflicted is deplorable and I would like to pay tribute to the strength of character shown by his victim in coming forward and ultimately helping to bring Simmons to justice.

“Although it does not change anything that happened, I hope that the people affected by Simmons deplorable behaviour can take some comfort from the verdict and continue to move forward with their lives.

“I hope that the conviction of Robert Simmons demonstrates that Police Scotland will robustly and sensitively investigate domestic abuse crimes, no matter the passage of time. It is certainly no barrier to justice.”

‘Untold distress’

Anne Marie Hicks, National Procurator Fiscal for Domestic Abuse, said: “Robert Simmons’ violent and controlling course of conduct, which endured over a period of decades, has caused his victim untold distress.

“I would like to commend the victim for having the courage to come forward and for her bravery in helping bring Simmons to justice.

“Violent and abusive behaviour, such as Simmons’ is never acceptable and we strongly encourage anyone who has been a victim of any such offences, no matter when they occurred, to report this to the police.”

BBC News – Scotland