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Daily Record
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BNP candidate 'carved women-hating insults into his wife's flesh with a knife'

A wife has told how her BNP candidate husband carved woman-hating insults into her flesh with a knife.

Brave Claire Burgoyne, 40, has told of the years she spent married to right-wing thug Michael Coyle, who tried to get elected to Westminster in 2010 and Holyrood in 2011 as a National Front and BNP candidate.

Coyle, a former soldier, is awaiting sentence after being found guilty of raping Claire during years of abuse and the attempted rape of another victim.

The jury at his trial at the High Court in Livingston heard distressing evidence that Coyle humiliated his wife and terrorised her.

He used a craft knife to carve the word “slut” into her thigh, “whore” into her arm and the letters “FAT” across her stomach.

Claire was not allowed friends, a phone or access to TV or newspapers – and was controlled so much by Coyle she was unaware that Brexit had happened.

Claire, who has waived her right to anonymity to raise awareness of controlling and abusive partners, said: “I can’t believe I let him cut me and scar me while I lay there, in agony and terrified, but didn’t make a sound because I knew if I did, it would be worse and I didn’t want the kids to know I was going through that as well.”

As well as rapes and beatings, Coyle retained an iron grip over his wife – banning her from any
contact with the outside world.

She added: “For years, I wasn’t allowed to have friends. He isolated me completely. I wasn’t allowed to have a phone of my own, or even watch what I wanted on telly.

“I didn’t see news programmes or read papers. I was totally shut off from the world. One day, I heard one of my kids talking about Brexit. I knew nothing about it. They had to explain it to me.

“My life was just about toeing the line, making as little noise as possible so he wouldn’t notice me, hoping me and the kids would survive another day, another week.”

Claire met Coyle at high school when they were both 11. They lost touch but got together again in their 20s, when she had two children and he had become a father.

But he soon became violent after Claire challenged him over shouting at her daughter. She said: “I asked him what he thought he was doing and he just dished out a backhander.

“I was stunned. I was already suffering from post-natal depression and I thought I must be failing in my role in the family and must have deserved it.

“My self-esteem was on the floor and he carried on being verbally abusive.”

On the odd occasions he wanted to take the children out, he would normally only include his own and always left Claire out.

Mum-of-five Claire said she was “on a stopwatch” any time she left the house, with violent consequences if she returned late.

She said he once raped her after accusing her of cheating on him when she returned home late from a girls’ night out.

On one occasion, Coyle almost drove Claire to murder. She said: “He had been hitting me in the face with a control from the X-Box, taunting me about my weight, telling me I was worthless and I was ready to kill him.

“I was actually planning to take a kitchen knife to him when he fell asleep.”

Instead, he was woken by a video-call between Claire and her mother and punished her for waking him by leaving her on the couch without covers on a January night.

He also talked about killing her, the children and then himself. Claire said: “He actually described how he would do it and fantasised about the cops killing him after he’d murdered us all.”

She said he also wrote horror stories that he left lying around with the hero, always called Michael, raping and killing his wife, and going around finding and killing Jews.

Coyle will be sentenced on September 6 and had his name added to the sex offenders’ register.

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