A TWISTED thug who scrawled “slut” on his Saltcoats partner’s forehead in lipstick and sexually assaulted her with a baseball bat was slammed this week as he was caged for the abuse.

Remorseless John Mulherron was blasted by Sheriff Elizabeth McFarlane as she slapped him with a seven-year sentence - and placed him on the Sex Offenders’ Register for life.

The judge said she had considered sending Mulherron, 45, to the High Court for sentencing - fearing the maximum sentence she could impose was not long enough.

But she said she was persuaded she could deal with the case after all - as Mulherron had never previously been convicted of domestic abuse or sexual assault.

Mulherron, 45, was convicted following a trial at Kilmarnock Sheriff Court in December.

The court heard he forced his victim, who can’t be named for legal reasons, to strip naked, then drew obscenities on her.

The Glasgow abuser wrote “cheater” on her chest, wrote on her breasts, and punched and wounded his partner on the head and arm while she was driving.

He also kicked the 34-year-old, grabbed her head and caused her to fall to the floor of her home in Saltcoats, Ayrshire - where most of the attacks took place.

Mulherron’s abuse was so bad she changed in both personality and appearance, from being outgoing and always wearing makeup, to being withdrawn and unhappy and only using cosmetics to cover the injuries he had inflicted upon her.

The court was shown images of her injuries, including scratches and bruises of different colour and age, and she was forced to relive her ordeal on the witness stand.

Claims that he threatened to expose intimate pictures of her, and assaulted her with a trainer, were dropped by prosecutors during the trial.

A jury then convicted him of three charges of assaulting the woman to injury, between October and December 2018, while finding a fourth charge not proven.

The jury also ruled the offences were aggravated by involving abuse of his partner, as per Section 1 of he Abusive Behaviour and Sexual Harm (Scotland) Act 2016.

Sentence was deferred for background reports to be prepared ahead of sentencing and Mulherron returned to the dock this week to learn his fate.

Sheriff McFarlane told him his victim was left bearing both the physical and emotional scars of his abuse “from which recovery may be impossible.”

She added: “I had thought I may send you to the High Court for sentencing, but your solicitor has highlighted your lack of previous offending, and that allows me to deal with the matter today.

“This was a degrading and disgusting act of violence against her.

“She will have suffered physical and mentally.

“She had to endure the experience of giving evidence in court, in front of 15 complete strangers.”

She blasted Mulherron from claiming it was all a fabrication, and that he was the victim, pointing out there were pictures which proved his abuse, and said: “There is no alternative way of dealing with you other than a custodial sentence.”

She caged him for five years for the offences, and made him the subject of a two-year extended sentence, which will see him monitored in the community once he is released from custody.

He was also made the subject of a Non-Harassment Order, which sees him banned from approaching or contacting his victim in any way for the next five years, and placed him on the Sex Offenders’ Register “for an indefinite period of time.”

A member of the public was ejected from the court room for shouting “beast” at a shellshocked Mulherron, who shook his head as he was led away in handcuffs to begin his sentence, which was backdated to December, when he was remanded in custody.