A terrified woman terminated her baby because she was desperate to get her violent partner out of her life, a court heard.

Charlene Hynd, 35, was one of six women who were beaten by John Watt over a 14-year-period.

Watt, 34, yesterday pleaded guilty to a number of vicious ­serious domestic assault charges at various locations in the Dunfermline area.

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The High Court in Edinburgh heard how Watt showered the women with affection before becoming a vicious abuser who treated them like punchbags.

The court heard that Ms Hynd became terrified after she became pregnant with his child.

Prosecution lawyer David Taylor said: "She felt that if she had his child, she would never be free of the accused.

"The complainer arranged a termination of the pregnancy but told the accused that she had suffered a miscarriage, fearing his reaction if he found out that she ended the pregnancy."

Advocate Depute Mr Taylor said Watt, a prisoner of HMP Perth, but formerly from Dunfermline, targeted his first victim, Claire Hunter, in January 1999.

Ms Hunter told investigating police that Watt was initially 'lovely' and bought her chocolates. But he became controlling and started slapping her.

Mr Taylor added: "The slapping then escalated to punching.

"She describes the relationship as being one in which the accused could do what he wanted and she could do nothing.

"The violence became progressively worse and she recalls having her hair pulled and being pulled about by the accused, being punched to the body and kicked on the legs.

"Whilst she was being assaulted she describes that an 'evil look' would come over the face of the accused."

Watt's second victim Lynsey Harley, 32, started dating him in 1999. The court heard she was attracted to him because he had a "bad boy" image and was ­"charming".

But the court heard how he started physically abusing her at a flat in Broomhead Drive, Dunfermline,.

Once that relationship ended, Watt started dating Ms Hynd. They were in a relationship for six months in 2002.

The court then heard how Danielle Sharp, 28, dated Watt for six months in 2004 and was physically abusive to her.

Mr Taylor told the court that Watt took control of every aspect of her life.

Mr Taylor added: "The complainer recalls that in the beginning, the accused was like Prince Charming and did all the right things.

"However, within six months, the accused would determine who she could and could not see, who she could speak to and told her what to wear.

"If the accused did not approve of whom the complainer had speaking to on the phone, he would forcibly take the phone from her and smash it."

Samantha Barrie, 36, was in a relationship with Watt for six months in 2004.

Mr Taylor said that on May 20 2004, the accused started battering Ms Barrie and caused her to suffer two fractured ribs.

In 2005, Watt became involved in a relationship with Patricia Park, 28. He subjected her to a number of assaults.

The court heard how the attacks stopped in September 2013.

Watt was finally arrested after Miss Park's father contacted police.

Officers started investigating Watt and started contacting his former partners, and eventually built up enough of case to bring Watt to justice.

Judge Lady Wolffe deferred sentence on Watt in order for the court to obtain reports about his character.

Watt will be sentenced at the High Court in Glasgow on July 4, 2014.