A violent bully whose ex-wife claims he starved her to ‘a size zero’ has failed to have his conviction for battering her overturned.

Catherine Hartley claimed her violent husband Matthew restricted her intake of food during a 12-year campaign of terror because he didn’t want a “fat wife”.

Hartley, who was convicted of assaulting Catherine, 32, appeared at Kilmarnock Sheriff Court and was given a community payback order with 12 months of supervision.

He was placed on the sex offenders register for sexually assaulting another woman.

Last month we told how ex-wife Catherine launched an online petition after Hartley made a legal bid to have his conviction overturned.

Matthew Hartley failed in a bid to have his conviction overturned

Now we can reveal that Hartley’s appeal has been refused.

Catherine said: “Although I am happy that Matthew’s appeal has been denied I am still disgusted that the man that tortured me mentally and physically for over a decade had so little remorse that he tried to get his lenient sentence overturned.

“The scars from living with an evil narcissist for 12 years, then being picked apart and called a liar by him and his whole legal team will remain with me forever.

“I can only pray that no other woman will ever have to suffer the pain, humiliation and heartache I have had to endure and would like to thank Daily Record, the Police and Women’s Aid for giving me a voice to tell the truth and at least try to put this agonising ordeal behind me.”

Catherine Hartley was a healthy size 12 before she says her brutal and controlling husband started starving her

Catherine, who was a healthy size 12 when she married Hartley, claimed that during her marriage her weight dropped to five-and-a-half stone and that she became so emaciated that clothes made for a seven-year-old child fitted her.

Hartley, 42, denied all wrongdoing but was found guilty of assaulting Catherine three times from January 2004.

On one occasion in late 2016, he attacked Catherine in front of her family. He grabbed her by the neck, lifted her off the floor, threw her across the room then sat on her and tried to strangle her.

Speaking to the Record in August Catherine said: “He said I was fat so he put me on a diet. He wanted a size 0 wife."

Catherine when she married Matthew Hartley
 

She went on to say: “If I ate before I went to bed, he forced me to sleep on the sofa as he didn’t like the smell of food on me.

“I ended up so thin that when I lay down on the mattress my bones hurt.

“One day we were with my family in their living room and I asked him to take me for some food as I was hungry.

“He lost it and grabbed me by the neck so my feet were hanging in the air and then threw me across the floor.

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“He jumped on top of me, strangling me and almost choked the life out of me.”

The 16-stone brute also seized her by the neck after an argument between January 2004 and December 2005.

Catherine said: “We’d had a disagreement while we were in the bedroom and he grabbed me by the neck, wrapped me up in the duvet and put all his weight on me so I couldn’t breathe.”

She says monster Hartley took pleasure in humiliating her and on one occasion between June and August 2009, he seized her by the neck and lifted her out of a car before dropping her to the ground.

Abuse victim Catherine was almost starved to death by her husband

As well as the charges against Catherine, Hartley was convicted of sexually assaulting another woman between December 2010 and January 2011.

Catherine, of Irvine, Ayrshire, said: “He was manipulative, twisted and violent. He tried to control me and when I got away, he tried to destroy me.

Contacted by the Record, Hartley dismissed his ex’s claims as “a lot of lies”.