An Inverurie postman stalked a female co-worker and sent her pornographic pictures as well as images of a chainsaw and noose.
Norman Petrie, 28, made the woman’s life a nightmare for nearly a year by sending pictures of violent weapons with crudely scrawled phrases, such as “kill u” and “I will end you”.
Aberdeen Sheriff Court heard how the Royal Mail employee scared the woman to such an extent that she carried a panic alarm and would hide in the toilets to avoid him.
But the postman’s campaign of harassment and intimidation did not end there.
He also sent pictures of her car in various locations as well as several pornographic images with her head pasted on other women’s bodies.
Petrie, who no longer works as a postman, pleaded guilty to one charge of causing the woman fear or alarm by repeatedly sending her images and messages through an anonymous social media account.
The charge included following the woman and taking pictures of her vehicle and whereabouts.
Female worker was given panic alarm
Fiscal depute Kiril Bonavino told the court that Petrie became “infatuated” with the woman when they worked together at Royal Mail Delivery Office in Inverurie between April 30 2019 and March 11 2020.
He said: “After a few months the accused’s behaviour became too much to the point where she used to hide in the staff toilets to avoid him and blocked him from social media.
“She also reported his behaviour to management and he became more aggressive towards her.”
In 2019, Petrie was involved in a car crash and was off work for an extended period.
‘I hope you get raped by rabid dogs’
At around this time, the woman began to receive a number of Snapchat images and Whatsapp messages from an anonymous account that showed explicit pictures of women in pornographic situations with the victim’s face photoshopped onto them.
He would also send pictures of the woman with sexual organs drawn on top.
The images would include scrawled words such as “liar” or “nasty”.
A few months later, the woman began to receive other Snapchat messages that showed landmarks where she had been and of her car parked in various locations.
Mr Bonavino added: “The witness immediately suspected the accused of sending these messages and she reported it to two co-workers.
“It was decided that the best course of action was to give the accused a leave of absence.”
The woman was moved onto a different work pattern and the Royal Mail provided her with a panic alarm for her own safety.
However, she soon started receiving further messages from the anonymous Snapchat account that included the words “kill u” with an image of a noose.
An image of a chainsaw followed, with the words: “I will end you”.
Petrie also send a message which said: “Hope you get raped by rabid dogs.”
Mr Bonavino said these images and messages caused the woman “great alarm” and she immediately contacted the police, who arrested Petrie.
Accused was ‘lonely and isolated’ figure
Defence agent Ian Woodward-Nutt told the court that his client wanted to have on record that “he deeply regrets behaving in what was a deplorable manner”.
He added: “He accepts that he communicated with the complainer in a way that was deeply offensive and which would have been extremely upsetting for her.”
“He has suffered from poor mental health and a significant degree of isolation”, Mr Woodward-Nutt said.
“It would appear that a combination of those factors had implications in relation to his social skills.
“I say that in no way to excuse his behaviour, but merely to provide a context as to the background of the offences.”
Mr Woodward-Nutt also claimed that at the time of the offences Petrie lived a “lonely and isolated life” and had disclosed details of his mental health issues to the female colleague while at work.
“It is to the complainer’s credit that she was sympathetic and listened to Mr Petrie.
“Unfortunately, the relationship changed in so far as Mr Petrie then formed the view that some confidential information about him had been disclosed to other co-workers.
“He confronted her about this and she denied it. But unfortunately, that seems to have been the trigger for the start of this deeply regrettable behaviour.”
Sheriff William Summers described the charge against Petrie as a “profoundly troubling offence” that involved him “stalking his former co-worker”.
He added: “Your behaviour included sending abusive and disturbing images to the complainer.
“It is clear that this was both alarming and disturbing for her and you must understand that very often offences of this nature result in the imposition of a custodial sentence.
“It also seems clear that there was a significant sexual element to this offence.”
As an alternative to a prison sentence, Sheriff Summers sentenced Petrie, of Selbie Drive, Inverurie, to a community payback order with 12-months of supervision and ordered him to carry out 180 hours of unpaid work.
A non-harassment order was also put in place meaning Petrie would have to stay away from the woman and Inverurie’s Royal Mail Delivery Office for five years.
Sheriff Summers additionally placed Petrie on the sex offenders register for one year.
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