AN Irvine copper who found himself in cuffs has dodged jail after years of domestic abuse.

Iain Pittams, who was a sergeant at Irvine’s Divisional Road Policing Unit, admitted to violent abusive behaviour towards three different partners spanning from 1991 to 2017.

Pittams, 49, pled guilty to three charges of assault and one of threatening or abusive behaviour when he appeared before Kilmarnock Sheriff Court in April.

Pittams, who was said in court to be suffering from post traumatic stress disorder, admitted assaulting his first wife on numerous occasions between January 1, 1991 and December 31, 1993.

He admitted seizing her by the clothing, pushing and pulling her, kicking her and throwing a drawer and its contents at her at addresses in Newmilns and Gatehead.

He assaulted his second wife on numerous occasions, by punching and pulling her and throwing a metal clothes horse at her at Bellvue Road, Kilmarnock between September 1, 2001 and June 30, 2004.

While at a holiday cottage on the Isle of Harris he assaulted a third partner by pushing her on the body and causing her to fall onto a bed, as well as striking her on the body with a door on September 15, 2011.

On various occasions between September 15, 2011 and March 17, 2017 at an address in Goukscroft Park, Ayr, he behaved in a threatening or abusive manner towards the same woman by repeatedly shouting, swearing, belittling the same partner and contacting her and attending her address uninvited.

When he returned to court for sentencing last Thursday his defence solicitor said he was diagnosed with PTSD due to his experiences in the Royal Navy and poor mental health has been “a contributing factor”.

Iain Cahil said: “He’s completely aware of the seriousness of the situation. He is entirely aware that a custodial sentence may be in his Lordship’s thinking.

“He’s been in public service for over 30 years. He was in the Royal Navy for six years in the 90s, was involved in deep sea diving rescue missions amongst other tasks. He was a police sergeantin Police Scotland. He took service retirement in February 2018. This decision was unconnected to these proceedings.

“He’s not attempting to minimise the behaviour. He’s not been able to deal with, what is referred to in the report as, emotional situations. The assaults themselves in charge one are minor assaults, there’s been no injury. Again, he’s pled guilty to small individual assaults.”

Sheriff Michael Hanlon said: “I take into account what’s been said by your solicitor and the difficult circumstances you faced. However, I’m concerned that the story that seems to have been lost here is that there are victims.

“The question I have to ask is whether there is an alternative to a custodial sentence and in my view from the report there is an alternative.”

Pittams, now residing in Mote Hill, Hamilton,was given a Non Harassment Order for three years on an ex wife, with a Community Payback Order including 210 hours of unpaid work and put under supervision for 24 months.

He will also take part in a programme to address his behaviour for 16 weeks.

Sheriff Hanlon warned the former copper that if he doesn’t comply he could go to jail, adding: “In your case I would stress that.”