Scots man behind viral dress that 'broke the internet' admits strangling wife

The man who went viral after a dress bought for his wedding "broke the internet" has plead guilty to endangering his wife's life - after admitting to strangling her in a "terrifying" ordeal.

Keir Johnston appeared at the High Court in Glasgow today where he plead guilty to the attack on his wife that left her "fearing for her life".

The 38-year-old, who will now be remanded in custody until a sentence is passed next month, lived on the Isle of Colonsay with wife Grace following their 2015 marriage.

The couple first found fame after the mother of the bride wore a dress that sparked a global debate over its true colours - black and blue or white and gold.

Nicknamed 'The Dress That Broke the Internet', it became a social media storm when it was first shared on Tumblr by wedding guest Caitlin McNeill, who appealed for help in solving the colour dilemma.

Celebrities including Kim Kardashian and Ellen DeGeneres were caught up in the virality of the dress with the latter even inviting the pair on her talk show, where they were handed $10,000 and a trip to Grenada.

However, behind closed doors Johnston left wife Grace fearing for her life.

Johnston turned on his wife at their home on the remote Scottish island on 6 March 2022 and threatened her, saying: "Someone is going to die."

Johnston had originally attended the High Court last July (10 JUL) where he faced allegations that he had conducted a nearly 11-year campaign of serious domestic violence and coercive control towards his wife - but denied all charges against him at the time.

However, today High Court heard how Johnston had a history of domestic abuse towards his wife.

Chris MacIntosh, prosecutor for the Crown, told Lady Drummond and the court how Grace lived in fear of her abusive husband.

He said: "There is no permanent police presence on the island, and she was in a situation where she felt trapped."

Grace had defied her husband's demands not to attend a job interview on the mainland and just days later found herself in a life-threatening situation.

On the day of the attack, Johnston was drinking at a pub quiz and sent several messages to his spouse, with one reading: "You should support me but you do not."

Concerned for her husband, Grace later returned home where Johnston awoke from his sleep and announced he would be leaving her.

The pair then headed outside of their cottage before Johnston grabbed Grace and threw her to the ground.

Mr Macintosh said: "Johnston woke up and said that he was going to leave her. She went outside the property to stop him leaving.

"He followed her and pinned her to the ground. He placed both knees on her arms, so she was unable to move. He then began strangling her with both his hands.

"She was initially able to scream and feared for her life and believed Johnston intended to kill her as he was very forceful."

Despite suffering severe bruising from the attack, Grace didn't require any medical treatment.

Defending lawyer Marco Guarino told how Johnston had accepted responsibility for the assault.

However, Lady Drummond denied Johnston bail and placed him in custody, telling him: "I have no need to tell you that this is a serious and violent offence.

"You repeatedly strangled her, injured her and put her life in danger in what must have been absolutely terrifying circumstances for her.

"I am afraid, Mr. Johnston, that your status has now changed, you have been convicted of a very serious crime and you will be remanded meantime."

Sentencing will be made on 6 June following reports.

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