Man harassed women he met on dating site
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