A stalker who contacted assisted suicide clinic Dignitas to report that her victim needed end-of-life care has appeared in the dock over the bizarre behaviour.
Emma Johnston’s campaign of fear lasted for more than a year and targeted two different women, Aberdeen Sheriff Court heard.
She made contact with several funeral directors, claiming her victims were dead so that they’d get phone calls about their own funerals.
Johnston, 49, also made false claims of criminality about one woman to police and her employer.
Appearing in the dock – Johnston admitted both charges of causing fear or alarm by stalking and was warned against any more contact with the women, or she will face jail.
The offences took place between February 2020 and March 2021.
She submitted forms in the name of one victim to Swiss assisted dying clinic Dignitas claiming end-of-life care was needed and contacted four funeral directors and cremation firms in the hope they would make contact with her victim.
She also contacted Police Scotland and filed false reports of domestic abuse to officers.
Second victim also targeted
Over the course of those same 13 months, she subjected another woman to the same calls from funeral service providers as well as a host of calls to other organisations, including her employer.
She repeatedly made false claims of criminality against her victim to Police Scotland and contacted the DVLA stating the woman had fraudulently obtained a car using someone else’s name and address.
An email was also sent to the victim’s employer by Johnston claiming the woman had committed a criminal offence. She also sent a letter to Inchgarth Community Centre pretending to be the victim and sharing false information.
Sheriff Gerard MacMillan told her: “These are, of course, serious charges. At your age and with no previous convictions it is clear that there is something that requires to be found out about the background to these matters.”
He deferred sentencing, to allow for background reports, but warned bail was granted on the condition that she does not contact either complainant.
Warning of custodial sentence
Johnston was warned that if she broke those conditions she could face jail.
“You must not contact them at all, either electronically through messages or calls or in person,” Mr MacMillan added. “That offence would be extremely serious for you and it could well cost you your liberty.”
Johnston, of Waterton Lawn in Stoneywood, will next appear at Aberdeen Sheriff Court on July 27.