Scotland rugby star’s wicked campaign of domestic abuse is revealed in court

Scotland rugby star’s wicked campaign of domestic abuse is revealed in court: ‘Controlling’ Glasgow winger, 22, left girlfriend with bust lip and black eye, put tracking device on girlfriend’s phone and demanded her social media passwords

  • Rufus McLean demanded passwords to her socials and kept a ‘tracker’ running
  • The player admitted leaving his 21-year-old victim with a burst lip and black eye
  • He also called her a b**** and a s*** and sent her abusive text and messages

A Scots rugby international used tracking systems on his girlfriend’s phone to keep tabs on her during a 20-month campaign of domestic abuse.

Glasgow Warriors and Scotland rugby union player Rufus McLean demanded passwords to her social media accounts and kept a ‘tracker’ service running on her phone so he knew where she was.

The 13-stone player admitted leaving his 21-year-old victim with a burst lip and black eye after pushing her off him during one incident.

He also called her a b**** and a s*** and sent her abusive text and social media messages.

Glasgow Warriors and Scotland rugby union player Rufus McLean demanded passwords to her social media accounts and kept a 'tracker' service running on her phone so he knew where she was

Glasgow Warriors and Scotland rugby union player Rufus McLean demanded passwords to her social media accounts and kept a ‘tracker’ service running on her phone so he knew where she was

The 13-stone player admitted leaving his 21-year-old victim with a burst lip and black eye after pushing her off him during one incident

The 13-stone player admitted leaving his 21-year-old victim with a burst lip and black eye after pushing her off him during one incident

McLean, who made his senior Scotland debut in October 2021 against Tonga, appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff Court yesterday for sentencing.

He pleaded guilty last month to engaging in a course of ’emotionally abusive and controlling’ behaviour between April 2019 and January 2021.

Following his guilty plea, he was suspended by Glasgow Warriors with immediate affect. The US-born winger, who has been capped three times for Scotland, has had no contact with the club since then, and his career hangs in the balance.

A statement issued by Glasgow Warriors said: ‘Rufus McLean is suspended from all club activity and is unavailable for selection following a guilty plea to charges under the Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act 2018 in December 2022.

‘Glasgow Warriors does not condone abuse of any kind and therefore, along with Scottish Rugby, immediately suspended the player following his plea.

‘An internal investigation has been instigated and a disciplinary hearing will be held this week.’

The club added: ‘Legal proceedings in this matter are not concluded, therefore no further comment will be made at this time.’

The court heard previously in an agreed narrative how McLean and his girlfriend were in an ‘on/off’ relationship for four years and together ‘properly’ for two years between April 2019 and May 2021.

He also called her a b**** and a s*** and sent her abusive text and social media messages

He also called her a b**** and a s*** and sent her abusive text and social media messages

His victim described 5ft 10in McLean, of Glasgow, as ’emotionally abusive and controlling’.

The court was told his victim was on a Spanish holiday in the summer of 2019 when McLean saw a photograph of her on social media and ‘took exception’ to what she was wearing.

McLean messaged to say she looked like a ‘s***’ and told her to change, but his girlfriend refused to do so and went out.

He was said to have then started sending messages to her and her friends using derogatory language.

In another incident in January 2021, the couple were in McLean’s Glasgow flat when she woke him up to talk.

McLean reacted by pushing her away, causing her lip to be burst and a black eye to appear, the court heard.

She was left ‘frightened’ by the incident and photographed her injuries to show her mother.

On March 11, 2020, the pair were in Edinburgh when McLean saw a photo on social media of his girlfriend along with a man with whom she had previously gone out on a date, at a time when she and McLean were not in a relationship.

McLean, who made his senior Scotland debut in October 2021 against Tonga, appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff Court yesterday for sentencing

McLean, who made his senior Scotland debut in October 2021 against Tonga, appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff Court yesterday for sentencing

An ‘irate’ McLean was said to have pushed her over and ‘continued to shout at her and she pleaded with him to stop’.

After getting up, the victim was said to have followed him and he ‘grabbed her wrist and pushed her back’.

McLean left and police were alerted to an ‘ongoing domestic incident’.

Officers attended and found the woman crying and suffering from redness to her arm.

Iain Smith, defending, asked Sheriff Matthew Auchincloss to consider giving McLean an ‘absolute discharge’ – meaning he would not have a criminal record. Mr Smith said a Glasgow Warriors disciplinary hearing was due to take place today and the ‘consequences could be severe’.

Sheriff Auchincloss deferred sentence until next month to allow a report to be prepared on McLean’s suitability for a project addressing the behaviour of male domestic abusers. He said he would consider the imposition of a non-harassment order against McLean at the next hearing.

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