A MAN who tried to kill his girlfriend by hurling her out of a fourth floor window of a Sydenham maisonette is a danger to anyone he has a relationship with, a judge has decided.
Iain MacLachlan Sim had denied the attempted murder of Stephanie Butler, claiming she had jumped – but was found guilty following a trial at Warwick Crown Court.
The 28-year-old was convicted after Stephanie not only survived the plunge to the ground, but battled back to be able to walk unaided to give evidence against him in court.
Following an adjournment for a report to be prepared on him, MacLachlan Sim, of Eden Court, Lillington, was given an extended sentence made up of 16 years in jail and an additional four-year licence period.
Judge Andrew Lockhart QC told him: “I am sure that you present a clear and acute danger to women with whom you form relationships.
“You have shown the clearest signs that you are a danger to partners with whom you form relationships and then fall out. At that time, you are prone to act violently when under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.”
And of the actual incident when MacLachlan Sim threw Stephanie from the window in Fallow Hill, Judge Lockhart said: “Her injuries were truly horrific, and just what was to be expected in such a fall that was designed to kill.
“It is a mercy that she survived, aided by the skill of the medical teams that assisted her.”
The jury heard the incident happened in the early hours of October 18, 2016, following a row between the couple.
Ms Butler survived the fall but sustained life-changing injuries.
The jury was told MacLachlan Sim and Ms Butler had been in an on-off relationship, and both of them would at times stay in a spare room at the Fallow Hill maisonette home of friends of theirs, where on that night they had all been drinking.
Ms Butler said MacLachlan Sim was abusive and controlling during their relationship.
In an argument in the summer of 2016 he had held a knife to her throat and held her dog over the balcony of her mother’s sixth-floor flat, threatening to drop it.
And in July that year he was convicted of common assault on a previous partner after threatening her with a knife.
During the trial, Tim Raggatt QC, defending, had suggested MacLachlan Sim had never followed Stephanie into the room at Fallow Hill, and she had decided to jump from the window.
But Stephanie insisted: “He tried to kill me”.
Speaking following the sentencing, Warwickshire Police staff investigator Roger Hazlewood said: “When the officers arrived at the scene they were confronted with a seriously injured woman and several drunken people being abusive. Despite these difficult circumstances, they managed to force entry through a locked gate, secure the scene, and administer vital first aid to the victim while they waited for paramedics and the air ambulance.
“While the victim’s injuries were extremely serious, given the distance she fell it is a miracle they weren’t more serious.”