Tannochside woman feared for her life as boyfriend carried out ‘waterboarding’ torture

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A woman has told how she fought for her life as her boyfriend ‘waterboarded’ her after flying into a rage on a night out.

Melissa Murray said she believes Matthew McKenna would have killed her had it not been for the couple’s two-year-old son.

She described how she struggled to breathe as her partner put a soaking towel over her face then sprayed her with a shower head.

A jury convicted McKenna (28) of assault to danger of life after a trial at Hamilton Sheriff Court last week.

Ms Murray, also 28, said she did not know what waterboarding – a form of torture – was before McKenna warned her she was about to “experience something I’d never experienced before”.

The attack happened at her flat in Angus Walk, Tannochside, on April 7 last year.

Ms Murray, giving evidence from behind a screen, told prosecutor Vish Kathuria: “He put on the taps in the bathroom sink and soaked a towel.

“He said I was about to experience something I’d never experienced before and asked if I knew what waterboarding was. I didn’t.

“He punched me and pinned me to the floor. He put the towel on my head and ran water from the shower head over it. I was gasping for breath it probably lasted 30 or 40 seconds, but it felt like ages. He did it three times.

“I was saying ‘Please, please, please’ and telling him our wee boy needed me. I think that’s the only reason he let me go.

“I tried to get up and he kicked me. He said ‘Go’ and I ran down to a neighbour’s flat.”

Ms Murray said she discovered later she had a perforated eardrum.

She added: “I thought he was going to kill me that night. If it was not for our wee boy, he probably would have.”

McKenna, of Melfort Quadrant, Newarthill, denied the assault. His solicitor, Ian Scott, suggested that Ms Murray had drunk too much and had gone into the shower fully clothed in order to “get sober and clean”.

Mr Scott said McKenna then grabbed her and the pair fell on to the wet floor.

The jury took just an hour to find McKenna guilty of assaulting Ms Murray.

Sheriff David Bicket deferred sentence until March 29 and McKenna was remanded in custody.