Woman called police over officer she accuses of rape, court told

A woman had to call the police over the alleged abusive behaviour of an officer she has accused of raping her, a court has heard.

The witness, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told the court that Martyn Coulter smashed her head against a kitchen cabinet and she saw him throw a young child across a room.

Coulter is accused of raping the woman, assaulting her three times between June 2013 and November 2014 at addresses in East Lothian and Edinburgh, and is also accused of being threatening towards her.

He is further charged with raping, sexually assaulting and threatening a girl aged under 13.

Coulter, 36, denies the allegations and has lodged a special defence, stating that between September 6 and September 21 2013 he was in England on a military police training course.

Giving evidence at the High Court in Edinburgh on Tuesday, the woman said Coulter smashed her head against a kitchen cabinet in one incident in late 2014, saying: “To this day, I don’t even know why he did it.”

The witness said this incident left a mark on her forehead. She described her head as having ricocheted off the kitchen cabinet.

She told the court of several other incidents throughout 2014, including a time when she witnessed Coulter throwing a young child across a room by the shoulders.

Asked by Advocate Depute Kath Harper why she did not involve the authorities during this time, the witness said Coulter told her nobody would believe her because he was a police officer.

She said Coulter planted a seed of doubt in her head and told her he attended calls like the incidents she had described taking place at work, and asked her how he could remain impartial in these instances.

The woman said she had thought at the time: “Maybe it is not as bad as I think it is. Maybe other people live like this.”

Later, the court was told Coulter had been arrested for a breach of the peace as a result of an altercation with the witness’s family in 2014.

However, the witness told the court police did not pursue this.

Defending, Ian Duguid KC asked her about the incident alleged to have happened in September 2013 when she accused Coulter of raping her.

The witness told the court on Monday she could not recall the exact date, but said she went to Coulter’s flat at lunchtime on or around September 23 2013 to celebrate the news he was going on a tour of duty of Afghanistan with the Territorial Army.

She told the court on Monday he had wanted to have sex with her to celebrate the news, but she told him she did not want to because she did not have time.

But the court heard claims that she appeared to have gone on a night out with Coulter that evening.

She also told the court she could not remember the night in question as it was 10 years ago.

The court was shown a record of Coulter’s movements on the day in question, including time spent at Ocean Terminal in Leith, Edinburgh.

The witness, however, insisted she could not remember being with him on the date in question.

The court also heard how Coulter had attended an army training course in order to become a military police officer between September 6 and September 21.

Mr Duguid then put it to the witness that Coulter had received no such letter that he would be deployed to Afghanistan in September, and had actually been told in November he would be sent for a maximum of 12 weeks due to being in the Territorial Army.

The witness said the letter was perhaps Coulter being told he had been accepted on a training course prior to going to Afghanistan.

Mr Duguid also presented the witness with social media posts appearing to be written by her in 2018, suggesting that while Coulter had exhibited abusive behaviour towards her, he had not been physically abusive and that police had told her they were unable to do anything as a result of that.

However, the witness maintained she reported her concerns about Coulter to various authorities “repeatedly”.

The trial, before Lady Drummond, continues.