A MAN who hurled his girlfriend out of a fourth-floor maisonette window in Leamington during a violent argument has been warned to prepare himself for ‘a very long sentence indeed.’
Miraculously, Iain MacLachlan Sim’s victim Stephanie Butler not only survived the plunge to the ground below, she has battled back to be able to walk unaided to give evidence in court.
MacLachlan Sim, of Eden Court, Lillington, had denied attempting to murder Miss Butler in October 2016, claiming she had jumped – and a jury last year had been unable to reach a verdict.
But following a retrial at Warwick Crown Court, the 28-year-old was found guilty by a majority of 10-2.
The case was adjourned to May 23 when his barrister Tim Raggatt QC, who had represented him during the trial but was not present when the verdict was announced, can attend.
But remanding MacLachlan Sim in custody, Judge Andrew Lockhart QC warned him: “I am adjourning your sentence. In the meantime, you should prepare yourself for a very long sentence indeed.”
The jury heard the incident had happened in the early hours of October 18, 2016, at Fallow Hill in Sydenham 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 home of friends of theirs.
On that night the four of them and another young man had been drinking, and had got through part of a bottle of vodka.
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.
A few days before the incident, Ms Butler had been in bed at their friend’s home when Maclachlan Sim, who had gone out drinking, returned and began telling other people he was going to beat her up – so she left and went to her mother’s home.
But she was persuaded to go back to Fallow Hill to speak to him, where she found him to be ‘sullen,’ so to try to appease him, she bought him some vodka and ran him a bath, but he began to argue with her,
Prosecutor Sarah Gaunt said: “What happened after this point from Stephanie’s point of view is not a consistent recollection of events.
“When she fell on the ground she sustained multiple injuries to her feet, ankles and legs, and also injured her frontal lobe, causing memory loss, but events have slowly come back to her,” said Miss Gaunt.
“It is the prosecution case that this defendant was angry at the time with Stephanie, and angry at the time she went out of the window.”
MacLachlan Sim claimed he was not even in the room from which Stephanie went out of the window, and that he presumed she had jumped, denying pushing or throwing her out.
During the original trial in July last year, Stephanie was pushed into court in a wheelchair to give evidence – but this time she walked, unsteady but unaided.
Mr Raggatt suggested MacLachlan Sim had never gone into that room, and that she had decided to jump from the window.
But Stephanie insisted: “No. If I had done what you’re saying I done, when I came out of hospital I’d have finished what I wanted to do. I never wanted to kill myself.
“He tried to kill me, and he’s put it into your head that I’ve done it myself. I have not.”