A serial stalker travelled more than 3,400 miles to visit an ex-boyfriend in hospital – despite the fact he’d begged her to leave him alone.
Emma Johnston bombarded her former partner with hundreds and hundreds of WhatsApp messages, emails and calls following the end of their relationship, Aberdeen Sheriff Court was told.
Her campaign of harassment culminated in Johnston flying back from a holiday in the Middle East after hearing that the man had been admitted to hospital.
Johnston took the 3,400-mile journey from Qatar despite the relationship being over and the man repeatedly begging her not to attend, Aberdeen Sheriff Court heard.
It is not the first time the 51-year-old has appeared in court on stalking charges after a relationship turned sour.
In 2021 the former nursery school teacher at Hazlehead Primary was ordered to carry out unpaid work when she flooded another ex’s mother and sister with dozens letters from funeral and crematorium services.
One of her victims, a 71-year old leukaemia sufferer, received calls and letters from funeral directors who understood she had died.
480 pages of WhatsApp messages
Fiscal depute Georgia Laird described the events of the new case to the court.
She said Johnston’s then-partner split up with her by text message following his return from working offshore in Australia.
Following this she sent him 480 pages of WhatsApp messages between September and November 2022 asking what he was doing, where he was and if he would forward pictures of when they were together.
Johnston also claimed the man owed her money for gifts she’d bought him while they were in a relationship.
When he was admitted to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary at the beginning of November last following a heart attack, Johnston immediately flew thousands of miles from Doha to be at his bedside, despite being asked not to come.
She also called the man’s family – even when they asked her to stop because it increased his stress levels.
Johnston then called the hospital and asked a nurse to put the man on the phone, which resulted in him having to request that she not be permitted to contact him or visit the hospital.
Stalker called when police were at victim’s home
Upon being discharged from the hospital, the man found that Johnston had sent him 263 emails to his work and personal accounts.
She also attended at the man’s home where she would leave notes on his doorstep or put them through his letterbox.
One such note – written on tissue paper – stated: “Still waiting on my shoes and money, please.”
The man contacted police, who arrived at his house to find him getting a series of calls from Johnston.
When he answered one and put her on speaker phone, the officers heard her ask him: “Are you back in hospital? Please just let me know you’re okay. Are you okay? Are you back in hospital? Are you back in hospital Can you just let me know you’re okay?”
Johnston then continued to send written letters to his home demanding money.
As she was arrested on December 19 last year, Johnston told police officers: “It’s quite unfair, we were together and he’s thrown me out of the house.
“He made lots of promises and we were together for a year and a half. He didn’t want to see me again. I went past the house to get my stuff back but he wouldn’t give it to me. He owes me £600.”
Appearing in the dock, Johnston pleaded guilty to one charge of engaging in a course of conduct that caused fear and alarm to her former partner.
Her defence solicitor, Stuart Murray, told the court that his client had been “very much in love” with her ex-boyfriend and had “struggled to move on with her life” following the end of the relationship.
“It’s clear that she repeatedly contacted the complainer against his wishes,” Mr Murray said.
“Ms Johnston is still reeling from the end of that relationship but she knows that she’ll have to move on from that.
“She is remorseful and she knows she’ll need to make some changes.”
Sheriff Margaret Hodge told Johnston: “It seems to me that it’s a specific type of behaviour that needs addressing here.”
She made Johnston, of Waterton Lawn, Aberdeen, subject to a community payback order with supervision for six months.
Sheriff Hodge also put an non-harassment order in place, meaning Johnston cannot approach her former partner for three years.
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