View Full Version : Messages stalker found guilty

17-Jun-13, 08:59
Accused continued to contact ex after the relationship ended
A MAN, who persisted in sending unwelcome e-mail and internet messages to his ex-girlfriend, has been convicted of stalking her.
Finding Michael Grierson, 52, guilty, Sheriff Andrew Berry made a point of clarifying the legislation.
He said that stalking was not confined to “someone wearing a cloak and coming out of the shadows” to follow a person.
The sheriff also explained that the legislation, did not necessarily need to include a threatening element, and only required the sending of two or more message to constitute an offence.
Grierson, a self-employed engineer, denied sending causing Debbie Bain fear and alarm by sending the messages to her between October 12 and January 10.
The court heard that the relationship which included a brief period when they were living together, ended after an argument, although Grierson, of Brackside, Reay, said he didn’t regard it as being permanent but “a break from each other”. He was reluctant to accept the relationship was over and continued sending her text messages.
Grierson, of Brackside, Reay, told the court that he loved her and went on: “I thought that some things are worth fighting for”. It was, he stressed, never his intention to upset her.
Asked by his solicitor why he had persisted in sending the text messages after being warned off by the police and receiving a solicitor’s letter, Grierson said he had always believed there was a chance of them getting back together again.
The accused claimed that Ms Bain had sent him messages but he had not held onto them.
In one of them, she accused him of stalking her and urged him to “get on with your life and leave me alone”.
Summing up, David Barclay, prosecuting said that whatever the nature of the messages, Grierson had been told not to contact Ms Bain.
Turning to the nature of the offence, Mr Barclay said that messages did not have to be abusive or threatening and added: “The test is that they cause someone fear or alarm.” Grierson had continued to contact her when she didn’t want to be contacted.”
Solicitor Fiona MacDonald said that Grierson had explained that it might have in hindsight been silly to send the messages. She added: “He was a man trying to address the breakdown of his relationship.”
Sheriff Berry said that in the evidence given by the respective parties, Ms Bain was reliable and truthful but Grierson had not.
The sheriff underlined the points made earlier that the accused had persisted after being warned off.
He reiterated that Ms Bain had made it clear, she didn’t want any further contact with Grierson and instanced a message from Ms Bain to Grierson on January 5.
It read-“You have been particularly vile to me and I want nothing more to do with you.” Grierson will be sentenced on June 28 when the court sees a background report.