An Angus woman set up CCTV to capture what she thought were messy gulls in the act – only to discover her ex had been spitting on her car and home in the dead of night.
Stalker Peter Campbell had split up with his victim years before, but the 52-year-old mounted a three-week campaign of vile conduct against her during lockdown as he hit the booze then crept around outside her house.
The painter and decorator has now been ordered to stay away from his victim for two years and given unpaid work after avoiding going behind bars for what a sheriff branded a “sinister and nasty” offence.
Campbell, of Ramsay Street, Montrose appeared for sentence before Sheriff Derek Reekie at Forfar Sheriff Court having previously admitted the stalking charge relating to a course of conduct between May 8 and 29 this year.
He pleaded guilty to causing fear and alarm to his victim by repeatedly going to her home in the Angus town uninvited and repeatedly pouring an unknown liquid over a motor vehicle belonging to her, spitting on the vehicle and bedroom window, and staring into the bedroom.
Depute fiscal Matthew Kerr said: “The complainer noticed what looked like spit on her window and some sort of mess on her car and initially blamed it on seagulls.
“She subsequently installed a CCTV system activated by motion and events then came to light.”
He said a review of footage had shown Campbell to be there on May 8 and then a string of other nights later in the month.
“The accused made a full and frank admission that it was him on CCTV. She wasn’t aware of him staring into the bedroom window but it was all captured on CCTV,” he added.
Defence solicitor Nick Markowski said first offender Campbell had broken up with the woman two or three years previously but someone had more recently made comments about fidelity within their relationship.
“That seems to have been something he ruminated on and in May he committed this stalking offence,” he said.
“It wasn’t directly confrontational and happened under the influence of alcohol.
“The background report indicates he’s embarrassed and ashamed of his behaviour and he has asked me to apologise to the court and the complainer for his actions.
“He is now abstaining from drinking entirely,” said Mr Markowski.
Sheriff Reekie told Campbell: “After a separation of two years someone upsets you with something they say and you resort to a highly unpleasant and alarming course of behaviour over a period of time.
“The fact it was done in drink is not an excuse. It explains perhaps that you weren’t thinking straight but it is absolutely no excuse.
“This was sinister and nasty behaviour.”
Campbell must carry out 120 hours unpaid work within 18 months and was made the subject of a two-year non-harassment order.