CAMPAIGNERS have hit out at the “shocking” decision not to jail a serial abuser for a campaign of terror against a former partner in Helensburgh and elsewhere lasting more than three years.

David Millard, 38, was ordered by a judge to carry out unpaid community work after he was found guilty of punching the woman, hitting her with a baton, hurling furniture and leaving abusive messages.

The crimes occurred between March 2011 and November 2014 at addresses in Helensburgh, Rosneath, Cove, Dumbarton, Clydebank, Airdrie and elsewhere.

Millard was convicted by a jury at the High Court in Glasgow of assault and threatening and abusive behaviour following a trial last month.

But the same jury cleared him of raping the same woman, and a second ex, after returning verdicts of ‘not proven’ on three further charges.

Following the trial it was revealed that Millard has previous convictions for assault with a knife in 2012 and for threatening or abusive behaviour in 2017.

READ MORE: Serial abuser who attacked woman in Helensburgh, Rosneath, Cove and elsewhere is spared prison

He was jailed for three years at Dumbarton Sheriff Court in 2017 for subjecting the same two former partners to months of extreme stalking.

This week, women’s aid workers said the decision by Lord Richardson not to jail Millard “undermined the tireless work of those on the ground striving to challenge attitudes and myths around male violence against women”.

A spokesperson for Clydebank Women’s Aid said: “Whilst this is a shocking decision we are not surprised.

“Once again the legal system has failed women and starkly demonstrates that male violence against women must be understood in all facets of society in order to see an equitable administration of justice.

“Failure to do so gives abusers a free pass to roam the streets, enter our homes and rape in relationships without fear of retribution.

“How can we abolish the system of oppression that allows these behaviours to flourish when those at the top fail to acknowledge the adverse impact the decisions they make will have on women’s safety?

READ MORE: Serial abuser convicted of assaulting ex - but is cleared of rape

“We, and many other feminist organisations like ourselves, strive to see an end to male violence against women but how can this be achieved when at a local, national and international level there is, at best, a complete and total disregard of how the oppression of women continues to govern how we live our lives?”

Lord Richardson said the victim had been left affected by what Millard, listed in court papers as a resident of George Street, Alexandria, had done.

The judge added: “Having weighed everything up, I thought very seriously about imposing imprisonment. However, I am prepared to give you an opportunity.”

The judge imposed a community payback order which will involve Millard carrying out 250 hours of unpaid work. He will also be supervised for two years.

The first of the charges on which Millard was found guilty stated that on various dates between March 11, 2011 and November 2014, at addresses in Helensburgh, Rosneath, Cove, Airdrie and elsewhere, he seized hold of his victim’s body, dragged her and punched her on the body, punched and struck her on the head, pinned her against a couch, struggled with her and hit her on the body with a baton, all to her injury.

The second stated that on the same dates and at the same locations, as well as at properties in Clydebank and Dumbarton, he shouted, swore, behaved aggressively, damaged household items, threw items within the properties, sent threatening and abusive messages to the same woman, directed derogatory comments towards her and uttered threats.