An infatuated business developer who moved his life from France to be close to his ex-girlfriend in Aberdeenshire has narrowly avoided jail.
Nicholas White bombarded driving instructor Tracy Van Someran with calls, texts and e-mails for more than three months after she abruptly ended their relationship and started seeing another man.
Hurt and angry by the way their relationship had finished, White moved his life from Paris to Alford knowing she lived only a few miles away.
And despite being told never to contact her again, White persisted in trying to get her attention and even resorted to following her around in his car and monitoring her internet use.
Yesterday the 43-year-old man was handed a 12-month restraining order and placed on a community payback order after he was found guilty of stalking Ms Van Someran last month.
White will now have to carry out 180 hours of unpaid work in the community as a direct alternative to custody.
Convicting him at Aberdeen Sheriff Court, Sheriff Graham Buchanan said his behaviour had been sinister and said he was in “no doubt whatsoever” that he wanted Ms Van Someran to know he was watching her.
“The clear view which I have formed about this case is that the accused felt very bitter indeed about the way his relationship with the complainer ended and felt he had been wronged by her, and there is content within the texts and e-mails that showed that he bore a grudge against her for that,” he said.
“I have no doubt that at relevant times he still loved the complainer but felt a need to punish her for what he felt was her bad behaviour towards him.”
However, he added: “I am in no doubt there were sinister aspects to his behaviour including his move to Alford of all places.
“This is eloquent of the behaviour of the accused to show the complainer that he is watching over her and is plainly, in my view, to cause her fear and alarm.”
During the trial Ms Van Someran told the court she had been “terrified of his behaviour”.
Yesterday Sheriff Buchanan said he had to treat the matter extremely serious as it had been obvious White’s victim had been extremely frightened at the time.
He said that although the matter could be dealt with by imposing a custodial sentence he did not feel that was the only option available to him.
He warned White if he did not comply with the order then he would be going to jail.