Jealousy drove ex-Jed-Forest rugby player to read former partner’s phone messages, court told

Jedburgh Sheriff Court.
Jedburgh Sheriff Court.

A jealous window cleaner who was involved in two bust-ups with his former partner after reading the contents of her mobile phone messages has been ordered to be of good behaviour for the next six months.

John Szkudro even got the details of the phone’s lock codes from their children so he could keep tabs on what she was up to, despite the fact they had split two months earlier.

The 40-year-old, a former rugby player for Jed-Forest and Gala, pleaded guilty to a charge of threatening or abusive behaviour at a house in Croft Road, Kelso, on January 7, in breaking the mobile phone by throwing it against a wall and pushing his ex-partner onto a sofa.

Procurator fiscal Graham Fraser told Jedburgh Sheriff Court on Tuesday that the accused was a substantially-built former rugby player and his ex-partner was of slight build.

He explained that their nine-year relationship had come to an end in November, and on the date of the offence he had gone round to the house when she was getting the children ready for school to pick up his van and work equipment.

He continued: “He looked at the messages on her mobile phone, and he was not happy with what he saw.

“He threw the mobile phone against a wall and smashed it. There was a struggle, and she suffered soreness to her lip.”

Mr Fraser said the accused left the scene before police officers arrived.

However, the fiscal told the court Szkudro, now living in the Baittens, Jedburgh, returned later with his sister and confronted his ex-partner, telling her she was a slag and asking her to reveal her sexual partners.

Mr Fraser told the court: “He had been checking her phone as a means of controlling her, and even getting the lock codes from the children.”

Defence lawyer Ross Dow said emotions were running high at the time, but things had now moved on, adding: “He has been seeing the children without any issues.”

Sentence was deferred until October 31.

Sheriff Peter Paterson commented: “This mindless jealousy is unacceptable in a 21st-century Scotland. Your former partner can see who she wishes. Do you understand and accept that?”