Dumped partner pestered ex with calls and messages

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Lovestruck Christopher Laing reacted badly when his girlfriend ended their year-long relationship.

Between June 21 and July 8 he repeatedly sent messages to Laura McGarva by text, phone and social media.

Last Thursday, Falkirk Sheriff Court heard she finally called the police after a “chance” meeting on July 8 in Falkirk led to seven calls from him in less than 14 hours.

Laing (36), from 20 Old Bellsdyke Road, Larbert, had admitted engaging in a course of conduct that placed his former partner in a state of fear and alarm and had sentence deferred for background reports.

The court was told the messages started after he found out she had a new man in her life.

When Ms McGarva pleaded with him to stop – he did not take her advice and the messages became abusive.

He said accusing him of stalking her was “uncalled for” and he did “not understand” why she was treating him the way she was.

At one stage he apologised and asked: “Don’t get the police on me please.”

When he was interviewed by officers he told them: “I’m quite disappointed it has come to this.”

Defence lawyer Michael Lowrie said: “At the end of the relationship he did not cover himself in glory and did things he should not have done.”

But Mr Lowrie also claimed: “She suggested the relationship could be saved if he agreed to certain conditions and made changes to his life, which he did. He was left in a difficult and upsetting position which had left him depressed. Both parties have now moved on.”

Sheriff Derek Livingston said being phoned so often must have been “a kind of torture”.

He fined the self-employed electrician £240 and gave him 28 days to pay and also imposed a non-harassment order which will last for 12 months.

He told him: “I accept this behaviour was out of character for you, however it did go on for some time and escalated.”