A Perth businesswoman fled from her home - “in fear for her life” - after her partner, a convicted murderer, attacked her in a drunken rage and threatened to get an axe.

Fifty-six-year-old Scott Stewart, jailed for life in 2008 for a domestically-aggravated knife killing, argued with Kay Smart about having to go outside for a smoke.

They had been drinking cider and prosecco that evening at her North Muirton home - and he continued consuming alcohol while she went to bed.

He was still awake in the lounge, apparently drunk and still drinking, when she got up at 7am the next morning.

She does not smoke and an argument ensued about him having to go outside for a cigarette. He shouted at her: “Get the f*** out of my face.”

She retreated to the kitchen but he followed and confronted her there.

Depute fiscal Lora Apostolova told Perth Sheriff Court : “The accused then grabbed her by the arms and shoulders and started pulling her around the kitchen.

“She was cowering in the corner and the accused still had a hold of her with his left hand when he shouted: ‘I’m going to get an axe.’

“The accused then opened a kitchen cupboard and pulled out a box which contains tools and an axe.”

The fiscal added: “Witness Smart was now in fear for her life and ran out of the locus whilst grabbing her car keys and drove to her cafe as a place of safety, away from the accused.”

She phoned the police to report the terrifying incident and officers recovered the axe from the kitchen.

He was still at her home and when cautioned he said to officers: “What’s this all about - we just had an argument.”

Stewart, described as a prisoner at Perth, was jailed for a total of 14 months.

He also had a four-month non-harassment order imposed.

Sheriff William Wood told him: “On the assumption she is aware of your background in all its fullness, this must have been a fairly terrifying experience for her.”

Stewart admitted shouting and swearing at his partner and threatening to remove an axe from a toolbox at her home in Rona Court, Perth, on January 24, 2021.

He also assaulted Ms Smart by seizing her by the arm and pulling her around, to her injury.

He was convicted of murder at Edinburgh High Court in August 2008 and ordered to serve a minimum tariff of 150 months.

The Perth court was told he is subject to a “lifelong licence” in respect of that conviction.

Ms Apostolova said that Stewart had his own flat in Edinburgh but he had been staying with his partner in North Muirton because of the COVID lockdown rules.

They had been in a “slow building relationship” from about the summer of 2020.

She owns and manages a small cafe in the North Muirton area and he occasionally helped out as a part-time cleaner.

Solicitor Steve Lafferty said the incident took place at a “fairly early stage in the relationship” and he wanted to resolve matters as quickly as possible.

She had visited the accused in prison and a letter from her was submitted to the sheriff prior to him being sentenced.

Mr Lafferty added: “He accepts his culpability.

“He had consumed alcohol into the early hours. There was an argument when he was told to smoke in the close.

“He felt he had been taken advantage of as he had carried out certain work for her around the house.”

He had also contributed financially and felt he was “getting taken a loan of”.

“This will have a fairly seismic effect on him,” added Mr Lafferty.

“He won’t be eligible for parole until after he has served the jail sentence for this offence.”

Sheriff Wood said the non-harassment order would give Ms Smart time to reflect on whether the relationship would be “a force for good or otherwise” after his release.