Galashiels stalker given community payback order for abusing ex on Facebook

Selkirk Sheriff Court.
Selkirk Sheriff Court.

A man has been ordered to carry out 100 hours’ unpaid work at Selkirk Sheriff Court for making offensive comments about a former partner on Facebook and uploading an intimate picture of her to his account.

Ryan Thomson also entered the woman’s home, accessed her e-mail account and cancelled a hotel booking made by her.

The 26-year-old, of Barr Road, Galashiels, pleaded guilty to a stalking charge by engaging in a course of conduct likely to cause his partner fear and alarm on December 4 and 5.

Depute fiscal Tessa Bradley said the couple had previously been engaged but their relationship ended in September and the following month she was going out with someone else.

She described how the woman came home at about 8pm on Monday, December 4, and saw the lights on in her flat and the accused there with a van moving property out after getting a key cut.

Ms Bradley said that on December 5 at 9.43pm, the woman received a text message from Thomson saying: “You have just made the biggest mistake of your life.

“Have a look on Facebook. No one will trust you again. Hope you end up alone.”

The abusive messages continued, calling her a “little bitch” and telling her “everyone in Gala will hate you” and “when I am finished, you will lose him too”.

Ms Bradley said the woman was upset about the content of the abusive messages as it was not true.

The court was told she was sent four or five screenshots from Thomson’s social media accounts, one showing her semi-undressed, and that resulted in the police being informed.

The fiscal said the woman also noticed that Thomson had accessed her computer and cancelled a hotel reservation, leading to a £50 deposit being lost.

Ms Bradley said that Thomson was questioned on Deecember 9 and “he told police he had been annoyed and did it it in the heat of the moment”.

Defence lawyer Ross Dow said the couple had been going out for two years when Thomson claimed to have found out that she had been cheating on him.

He added: “His response was vengeful and nasty.

“He has now come terms to it and has apologised to her.”

Sheriff Peter Paterson explained that the advance of social media meant society had to catch up on what was acceptable.

He told Thomson: “These sort of postings on social media are highly destructive and completely unacceptable.”

Thomson was given a nine-month community payback order involving 100 hours’ unpaid work.