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Dundee taxi driver stalked victim for months after break-up

Dundee Sheriff Court
Fergusson was sentenced at the High Court in Dundee

A jilted partner who carried out a prolonged period of stalking against his ex-partner told her the police would do nothing because he was a taxi driver.

James Mcartney, 51, “struggled” to accept his relationship with his victim was over, repeatedly turning up outside her house and following her in his taxi cab.

He also admitted to threatening to kill himself, a form of domestic abuse under recent legislation.

Mcartney’s abusive behaviour started in April 2019, after his 22-year relationship with the complainer came to an end.

Threats

Depute fiscal Lee Corr told Dundee Sheriff Court: “The complainer and the accused were in a relationship for 22 years, which ended in October 2018.

“The complainer described the relationship as, ‘OK, with the usual arguments’.

“The accused owns a Skoda taxi.

“From April 2019 the accused would attend regularly at the address.

“The complainer would see his vehicle at least twice a day.

“The accused told the complainer he was going to go to the Tay Bridge to kill himself.

“The complainer started dating someone from their work.

“That person was a bus driver and the accused told (another witness close to the complainer) he would ‘look out for all the bus drivers’.

“This worried the complainer.”

Taxi drive-bys

The fiscal continued: “The accused began sitting in his taxi outside the complainer’s home.

“This behaviour frightened the complainer.

“The accused said again he was going to the bridge to kill himself and told the complainer if he did, it would be ‘her fault’.

“The accused continued to drive past her home (on multiple occasions).

“He was seen by neighbours of the complainer parking outside the house.”

At one point Mcartney followed his victim through Ardler.

When she confronted him and said she would phone the police, he responded: “They can’t do anything, I am a taxi driver.”

Guilty

Mcartney pled guilty to abusing his former partner, contrary to the Domestic Abuse Act 2018, between April 1 2019 and November 26 2020 at addresses across the city.

He further admitted failing to comply with conditions not to approach his former partner between November 21 and November 26 2020, after being ordered to do so by the court.

He also admitted breaching bail conditions on December 25 and 26 2020 by approaching his former partner when ordered not to.

Defence solicitor Larry Flynn, in mitigation for Mcartney, said: “Since (the last order) there has been no further incidents.

“I have given him advice which got stronger and stronger.

“This was a sad story – they were together more than 20 years and he helped raise three children.

“What really kickstarted the aggressive behaviour is when she started the relationship with the bus driver, which of course, was her right to do.

“He is not someone with a record, his judgement was clouded.

“Both parties have now moved on.”

Sentencing

Fining Mcartney £1,000, Sheriff Sean Lynch said: “What you have pled guilty to is a sustained course of conduct involving harassment and coercion.

“I take into account what has been said on your behalf and that you are in full time employment.

“You have recognised you cannot go on in this fashion.”

Mcartney, of Kirkconnell Terrace, was also made subject to a non-harassment order, banning him from having any contact with the complainer for five years.