Man ha­rassed women he met on dat­ing site

Stirling Observer - - FRONT PAGE - Robert Fairnie

An “ob­ses­sive” Brae­head man con­victed of stalk­ing two for­mer part­ners af­ter meet­ing them on an on­line dat­ing site has been placed un­der su­per­vi­sion for 12 months.

Trucker Neil Grant Craig re­peat­edly con­tacted Lorna Gilchrist by text mes­sage, email and tele­phone – leav­ing her a num­ber of voice­mail mes­sages.

The 41-year-old also at­tended un­in­vited at her home and re­fused to leave when re­quested to do so.

Of­fences took place on var­i­ous oc­ca­sions be­tween May 16 and June 15, 2014, at St An­drew’s Road, Glas­gow, and else­where.

In a sep­a­rate charge Craig, of Fal­coner Court, re­peat­edly sent 42-year-old health­care worker Amanda Thom­son text mes­sages, left cor­re­spon­dence at her home, sent mes­sages on so­cial net­work and re­peat­edly left voice­mail mes­sages. Charges state that he also re­fused to alight from a ve­hi­cle when re­quested to do so, loi­tered out­side her home and made deroga­tory com­ments to her. Th­ese of­fences hap­pened

at Tor­brex Road, Al­lan Park, Port Street and Pitt Ter­race on a num­ber of oc­ca­sions be­tween De­cem­ber 22, 2014 and Jan­uary 19, 2015.

Craig, who had de­nied the charges, was found guilty af­ter trial at Stir­ling Sher­iff Court last month.

Dur­ing the three day trial Lorna (35), who met Craig on dat­ing site Plenty of Fish said things started to go wrong af­ter a short hon­ey­moon pe­riod.

The pro­ject man­ager, from Glas­gow said:“In my job in the con­struc­tion in­dus­try I have a lot of male con­tacts. He’d want to know if I’d had a pre­vi­ous re­la­tion­ship with them. He tried to delete con­tacts off my phone. One day he tried to phone me 20 times in two hours.”

She added:“By the time things came to an end I was scared of him. Some­times he’say it was OK, some­times he’d be an­gry. I’ve never met any­body so ma­nip­u­la­tive in my life.

“At one point I felt brain­washed. I felt like a to­tally dif­fer­ent per­son.”

She fi­nally called the po­lice af­ter find­ing Craig sit­ting un­in­vited out­side her home. She said Craig’s be­hav­iour led to her tak­ing anx­i­ety med­i­ca­tion, and see­ing oc­cu­pa­tional health staff at work.

Amanda told how Craig had re­fused to let her call her hus­band to look af­ter her two chil­dren af­ter she col­lapsed and was taken to hospi­tal by am­bu­lance – he in­sisted on be­ing put down as her“next of kin”even though he had only known her for a few days.

And when she went to the bank on be­half of some­one at work he stood so close to her the cashier told him off, say­ing:“You need to get rid of him.”

She said:“The only way I can de­scribe him is as at­tach­ing him­self to me. He was con­stantly tex­ting, an un­usu­ally high amount. They were quite pushy – he wanted more than I was giv­ing him.”

She said Craig had even told her off for hold­ing his hand“wrong”.

He even­tu­ally seemed to ac­cept their re­la­tion­ship was over, and ad­mit­ted he “may have had too many is­sues”. But it started up again when he put a long let­ter through her door say­ing he had been “pour­ing over horo­scope charts”look­ing for sim­i­lar­i­ties in their signs and claimed they showed they were“soul­mates”.

She blocked his texts, but be­gan see­ing him sit­ting in his car out­side her house, so agreed to meet again to try to get rid of him.

She said:“I picked him up. I wanted to get the mes­sage through to him once and for all that I didn’t want any­thing more to do with him. He said he wanted to go to the car park by Waitrose. I said to him‘this is over’. re­mem­ber think­ing‘this isn’t get­ting through to him’. He wouldn’t get out of the car. I had to pick my son up from school, but he still wouldn’t get out. I thought I’d have to agree to stay with him. I wanted away from him.”

She later saw his car at the back of her house, and af­ter play­ing a friend some voice­mail mes­sages he’d left, she con­tacted po­lice.

When Craig ap­peared for sen­tenc­ing this week de­fence so­lic­i­tor Ge­orge Pol­lock said there was lit­tle chance of re­of­fend­ing.

He said:“There are com­ments on the re­port that he is as­sessed as suit­able for a com­mu­nity dis­posal. There is said to be no pub­lic pro­tec­tion is­sues and no ev­i­dence he is a risk of caus­ing se­ri­ous harm at this time.”

Sher­iff Gilchrist replied: “There are con­cerns that if he be­comes in­volved in an in­ti­mate re­la­tion­ship in the fu­ture he needs to know how to be­have.”

Sen­tenc­ing him, Sher­iff Gilchrist added:“The re­port con­firms the view I took at trial – that you be­come some­what ob­ses­sive in re­la­tion­ships. In th­ese in­stances your ac­tions caused the com­plain­ers fear or alarm.”

Craig was placed un­der su­per­vi­sion for 12 months, while a non-ha­rass­ment or­der pre­vent­ing him from con­tact­ing the women was also im­posed.

Creepy Craig sen­tenced

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