A MAN accused of a series of domestic abuse offences against his partner showed his mother-in-law a lewd picture on his mobile at a Helensburgh hotel, a court has heard.

The woman said she felt “humiliated” when Paul Sly showed her the picture after they met up at the Commodore Hotel.

Mr Sly, 36, is standing trial at Dumbarton Sheriff Court on 11 separate charges, which the Crown alleges were committed at addresses in Rosneath, Clynder and Helensburgh between August 2012 and March 2017.

The fourth day of the trial heard evidence about a meeting the woman had with her then son-in-law Mr Sly at the West Clyde Street venue in early 2016.

“He ordered an americano and just looked at me with such disdain and anger,” she said.

“I asked him what was going on – I really wanted him to tell me why he was doing these things to [my daughter].

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“He didn’t respond. He was just belligerent,” she said. “He pulled out his phone and said ‘your goody two-shoes daughter’.

“He had this picture on his phone and he held it up towards me – he showed it to me really forcefully.”

Mr Sly shook his head in the dock as the woman said: “I was mortified. Very embarrassed.

“He was enjoying it. He was loving my embarrassment, my humiliation. I could not have been more humiliated in a public space.

“His voice was getting louder, which was making me even more distressed. I was disgusted.”

The woman said she had tried to leave the hotel towards the rear car park, but that Mr Sly had caught up with her as she reached the exit door.

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“He started another conversation, right in front of me,” she continued.

“He was in my space. I felt him overpowering me. I was very uncomfortable. I was afraid because his body language was really angry.”

The woman told the court Mr Sly had said “my friend’s got my back, he’s lied for me before”.

“He told me if I didn’t stop and leave it alone, he would crush me and her,” she continued.

“He went on to say ‘I’ll make sure you never see your grandchildren’.”

The woman also told the court she and her husband had received two late night phone calls from their daughter, on separate dates, causing the couple to go to the homes their daughter shared with Mr Sly – first at a property at The Soundings in Clynder in early 2015, then at a house in Collins Road, Helensburgh on a later date.

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She said that after arriving at the house in Clynder she had heard Mr Sly shouting and swearing from upstairs.

Asked to describe how her daughter reacted, the woman said: “She was terrified. She was silent. We were reassuring her that it was OK, that we wouldn’t leave until he had calmed down”.

The woman told the court that during the second phone call she had heard Mr Sly in the background shouting abuse.

“He was calling her a fat w***e, she was useless, she wasn’t a fit mother,” she said.

The woman said that on arriving at the Collins Road house, she found her daughter “absolutely terrified”, and added: “She was all dishevelled, red in the face, sobbing, crying at points.

“She looked sore. Fear had consumed her.”

The woman told the court she had gone to the couple’s then home in Collins Road, Helensburgh, on an occasion in 2017, and found her daughter sitting on the sofa.

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“She raised her head,” the woman said, “and it was all red down the left hand side of her face.

“She gestured to her jumper and pulled it down, and you could see she was black and blue across her breasts.”

The woman said her daughter was “distressed, terrified...tearful, like a ghost”. Like the soul had gone out of her.”

Advocate Emma Toner, representing Mr Sly, suggested that the woman “wouldn’t have had a positive view” of Mr Sly following her first meeting with him, to which she replied: “I had heard of his reputation.”

Asked what her view of him was at the time, she said: “It was concern.”

Miss Toner asked: “Am I right that you did not feel that [your daughter] was in any danger such that you should contact police?”

The woman replied: “No.”

Mr Sly, of Rowan Drive, Dumbarton, denies all the charges against him; the trial, before Sheriff Maxwell Hendry, was adjourned until March.

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