A WOMAN feared she was going to die when her domestic abuse accused partner allegedly 'pressed her head underneath water', Greenock Sheriff Court has heard.

John Morton is charged with engaging in a course of behaviour which was abusive of the woman between April 2019 and December 2021.

During this period, it is alleged that he placed a dog chain around her neck and attempted to pull her down the stairs, pushed her against a wall, pulled her arm behind her back and robbed her of a quantity of keys, a mobile phone and a quantity of banks cards.

He is also accused of striking and punching her to the head and body, seizing her by the hair, butting her on the head and throwing household objects at her head and body – all to her injury.

Morton, 38, is further charged with preventing the woman from meeting with friends and family, as well as threatening her relatives and their property and threatening to take her children from her care.

(Image: Newsquest)

Morton had been in a relationship with the woman for 20 years before separating ion 2021, the court was told.

The alleged victim described keeping a diary of incidents concerning Morton from 2018 until 2021 in order to see how frequently these were happening.

The diary was initially kept in pen and paper form, but the woman said she later started a Word document at her workplace through fear of Morton discovering the physical version.

Described one alleged incident in 2019, the woman said: “We were shouting back and forth. I had had been shouting at him, he had been shouting at me.

“I was in the bath. He was coming in and out of the bathroom.

“On one instance, he came in and put my head under the water.

“He pressed his hand over my head. I was under the water for so many seconds.

"He removed his hand and I pulled my head up.

"I’ve just been in complete panic. I felt like I was going to die.

“I got out the bath and got ready and left. I went to my mum’s.

“I didn’t tell my mum what happened.

“I knew how bad it would sound and I felt ashamed.”

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The woman said she was in a verbal argument with Morton in July 2021 and told the court that he placed a chain dog lead around her neck and attempted to pull her downwards.

The court heard evidence regarding a further alleged incident said to have taken place in February 2020.

The witness explained that she had asked to visit a friend’s house for an hour but was headbutted by Morton and told she was ‘going nowhere’.

Morton then allegedly locked the door of the house and hid the key from the woman.

She said she found the spare key and eventually ran from the house barefoot, heading for her mother’s home.

The witness added: “She wasn’t home.

“I hid in my dad’s doo hut for a couple of hours. I waited until I could hear my mum finishing work.

(Image: Newsquest)

“I’m sure I told my mum he had hit me this time.”

The court was shown images of bruising which the woman said she sustained during an incident in February 2020, which are also noted in her medical records.

Extracts from the diary she kept during the period of alleged abuse were also read in court.

On the couple’s wedding anniversary in October 2021, she wrote: “He said he would burn me alive then turned up at my work with flowers.”

The witness was asked about an instance when she told a nurse that Morton’s behaviour ‘wasn’t that bad’ and that it had only gone on for ‘a few months’.

She admitted lying to the nurse because Morton was ‘furious’ with her for alerting medical professionals, who then involved social workers.

Morton has pleaded guilty to all charges.

The trial before Sheriff James Varney was adjourned part-heard and is due to resume on August 12.