July 2021

Bodybuilder told girlfriend he would ‘cut her baby out of her’ after she found out about his appalling record for domestic violence

A bullying bodybuilder “totally snapped” when social workers and police told his girlfriend about his appalling criminal record for domestic violence, a court heard.

Matthew Barnett bombarded pregnant Sarah Edgar with chilling threats and after being arrested screamed at her: “Sarahhhh, I’m gonna find you and cut that baby out of you!”

The Welshman had been ordered to leave Ms Edgar’s house in Livingston, Scotland, as a result of the official visit under the Disclosure Scheme for Domestic Abuse Scotland which allows women to check if a partner has a violent past.

Following the official visit he sent the mum-of-one a series of chilling texts on Facebook Messenger ordering her to “get rid” of his unborn baby and telling her: “They want me to snap they got it. I didn’t want this. They’ve broken me”.

The tattooed thug told her: “Don’t carry that child. It’ll be taken. Get rid of ASAP… You do not have the right to enter my family after that. Get rid.”

His next message read: “I’m going down (the police) station tonight. We’re gunna throw petrol all over woman on reception and light it. I gotta go now. We on way to garage now.”

Calling her a “lanky streak of piss” and other abusive names he added: “I’m gunna kill these c****. Answer now, you f*****.

“F***** y not say, scum? Grass. Rat. Tell me now. I’ve got a gun, tell me

“So you believe bull**** charges after wat everyone else said. Just tell me lanky c***. U fanny stinks.”

Kate Irwin, prosecuting, told Livingston Sheriff Court that Ms Edgar went to the police station to report Barnett’s behaviour, very stressed and worried for her safety due to the messages that she had received.

The depute fiscal said: “Following the statement being noted police were advised to attend at the property with Ms Edgar to enable her to collect her belongings and to check all was in order and that the accused was not within.

“It was deemed that Ms Edgar could not stay at her home address due to safety concerns for her life.”

When police checked the house, she said, officers saw the accused moving about inside. He was detained and handcuffed. The fiscal said constables then accompanied Ms Edgar into the house. They found that Barnett had broken the light bulb so that he could not be seen inside.

There was a bent knife on the kitchen counter and another knife blade snapped with its handle lying on the floor.

When one of the officers went into the darkened living room using his torch he noticed the word “War” had been carved into the door several times.

The words: “You want a war, you’ll get a war” had been carved into one of the walls.

While he was being arrested Barnett began to verbally abuse police officers, Miss Irwin said. In the presence of three constables he said he would “Bomb Bathgate Police Station”, “Post Anthrax” and “Cut the baby out of her”.

She said: “The accused was asked to calm down on several occasions. However, this seemed just to make him angrier and more abusive.

“The accused while in the back of the van started to shout and scream: ‘Sarahhhh, I’m gonna find you and cut that baby out of you’.”

The accused was again told to stop shouting language like that.

“However, he continually informed officers that he would make sure Ms Edgar’s child was not born as he wanted rid of it.”

Barnett, 34, a stonemason originally from Barry, Vale of Glamorgan, appeared for sentence on Friday after earlier pleading guilty on indictment to one count of vandalism and two counts of behaving in a threatening or abusive manner during the incidents on 28 January this year.

Ms Edgar was two months pregnant with his baby at the time.

She sentenced Barnett to 27 months in prison, backdated to 29 January. She also made him subject to social work supervision for 12 months following his release.

Barnett – who was previously named on a most wanted list by South Wales Police for allegedly making threats and sending malicious communications –was also made subject to a non-harassment order banning him from approaching or contacting Ms Edgar for 10 years.