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Fife stalker sent women explicit texts, obscene photos and creepy Bitmojis

Christopher Cowan, Dunfermline Sheriff Court
Stalker Christopher Cowan harassed six woman online.

A Fife stalker sent unwanted sexually explicit messages and photos to six women, leaving them feeling “targeted” and “scared”.

One of Christopher Cowan’s victims even installed CCTV and alarms at her home after he turned up at her work and bombarded her with phone calls.

The 31-year-old had denied sending the obscene texts and images to his victims, claiming someone else was trying to set him up.

But a jury unanimously found him guilty following a three-day trial at Dunfermline Sheriff Court.

Cowan, of Lady Anne Court, Crossgates, was placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register and will be sentenced next month.

Creepy Bitmojis

One woman told the trial she was contacted by Cowan using the profile name ‘Lewis Calamari’ in January 2020.

He started sending her explicit messages.

Syme appeared at Dunfermline Sheriff Court.

The woman said she felt “disturbed”, but initially thought the person may have been someone she knew.

She decided to keep the dialogue going to try and get answers.

After receiving a photo of a penis, she received a Snapchat message: “Are you wondering who is behind that pic you saw?”

Procurator fiscal depute Ronnie Hay read out a further message, which suggested Cowan knew his target’s occupation.

Further references were made to her hobbies and interests.

The woman, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, blocked the account but was contacted again by Cowan using another account with the profile name ‘Lewis Calamari 2.0’.

At this point the woman told the person to stop contacting her.

“I was getting angry and upset,” she said. “I was also very concerned at this point that someone who knew me would not do this.

“I was starting to feel targeted in a very negative way.”

She said the second profile then sent her a Bitmoji – a personalised cartoon avatar – which looked “as close as it could” to her, as well as another male Bitmoji peering from behind a curtain.

The woman said: “It was quite creepy, like spying on me in a way.”

Further examples of Bitmojis sent to the woman were shown to the court, including a male peering through some bushes and another male looking through some blinds.

The woman added: “It’s not normal to me. Again, I felt targeted and scared, and this made me think this person was watching me. I did not know if I was being followed.”

Another profile called Lewis Calamari 3.0 contacted her and then, after blocking it, a profile with the name Chri51990 tried to contact her but she blocked this at the outset, believing it was the same person.

Woman received photo of herself

Another woman, 29, told the trial she was sent sexually explicit Snapchat messages around the same time from profiles using the same variations of ‘Lewis Calamari’ and from the profile Chri51990.

She was sent a photograph of herself – apparently taken from Facebook – by another profile along with a sexualised message.

She said: “It’s scary getting messages from someone when you don’t know who it is.”

Installed CCTV and alarms

Another victim said she initially had contact with Cowan on a dating website and that she met up with him on four occasions.

She told the court she later received sexually explicit messages from him.

The woman said she received this kind of contact from about ten different phone numbers, but she believed it was the same person because of the type of language used and comments made about her job.

Cowan also turned up at her place of work where he was asked to desist by her colleagues. He also made repeated phone calls to the woman.

She told the court the situation made her feel “anxious and upset” and that she now has CCTV and an alarm system installed at her house.

Accused tried to cover his tracks

The trial heard that a police officer who visited Cowan’s home noticed that his bedding matched the bedding in a photo of a penis that formed part of the investigation.

Cowan had tried to claim that the messages had been sent by someone else.

But Mr Hay told jurors towards the end of the three-day trial: “Surely someone who wanted to get Christopher Cowan into trouble by sending images of his penis would simply create an account in his name and send unwanted material to witnesses.”

He said: “Christopher Cowan has created numerous profiles and sent unwanted sexual material from profiles, including images of his erect penis, and tried to cover his tracks but he has failed.”

Following the verdict, Sheriff Charles Macnair remanded Cowan in custody and deferred sentence to March 3 for the production of background reports.