A man who was branded a “danger to the public” after staring at, following and trying to get into the cars of random women in Aberdeen has been jailed.
Szczepan Rekas targeted no less than 10 complete strangers, all of them women apart from one.
His offending, described as “bizarre” by his own solicitor, saw him approach victims on various streets around Aberdeen last November.
On one occasion he even followed one woman home before trying to force his way inside her house, saying only “Can I ask you a question?”
Just days later, on another frightening occasion, two women got into their car and found Rekas sitting in the back seat.
The 43-year-old admitted a total of nine separate charges over his menacing behaviour around the Old Aberdeen and Tillydrone area of the city between November 8 and 23 last year.
Rekas’ sinister actions were considered so “alarming” that Aberdeen Sheriff Court has held him on remand at HMP Grampian since his arrest almost a year ago.
Series of sinister incidents
The first offence occurred on Erskine Street when Rekas approached a woman on two occasions, opening the door of her car on November 8 and trying to do the same on November 22.
On November 15 and 21, Rekas approached another woman on Bedford Road, repeatedly attempting to open her car door as well as loitering and staring at her.
Rekas targeted a third woman walking her dog on November 19, staring at her and following her on Bedford Road.
Two days later, Rekas frightened two women on Bedford Road when they entered a vehicle and found him sitting in the back seat.
Detailing that charge, fiscal depute Dylan Middleton told the court: “The woman was driving and her daughter was the front seat passenger.
“She started her car and was going to drive away when she heard a male voice say ‘hello’.
“She turned around and saw a male in the rear seat of her vehicle. The male then said sorry and got out of the car and walked away.”
Woman said he was ‘freaking her out’
On the same day, Rekas started at and closely followed another woman who was walking home on Bedford Road and Sunnyside Road.
“The complainer left her home to get something from her car and as she walked back to her front door she noticed a male was right behind her, in her face. She said hello and he replied,” Mr Middleton said.
“She attempted to ask what he was doing but he didn’t reply coherently and instead was looking behind her into the property.
“She told the male he was freaking her out and she closed the door on him.”
On a further occasion on the same day, he loitered outside the woman’s address, walked towards a vehicle she was sitting in and attempted to open a rear door.
On two occasions on November 22, Rekas stared at and walked towards another woman, a dog walker, on the Chanonry and Dunbar Street.
Approached 75-year-old lady
Also on November 22, Rekas approached a woman on Erskine Street, opened the door of the car she was in and tried to get inside.
He then followed her home and tried to push open her front door, which she managed to force closed.
He was asking “Can I ask you a question?” as he shoved at her door.
On the same day, on Bedford Road, Rekas targeted a man, approaching him, attempting to enter his car and then loitered in the area.
And finally, on November 23, Erskine stared at another woman – this time a 75-year-old pensioner on Erskine Street.
She’d been walking out of her home when she realised Rekas was behind her and staring at her.
“She walked back to her house and told her son,” the fiscal said.
“The male had walked up her path by this point. Her son asked him if they could help but he just shrugged. The male slowly walked away, staring back at her.”
‘Unnerving and worrying behaviour’
In total, Rekas admitted nine charges of behaving in a threatening or abusive manner, involving nine women and one man.
Defence agent Charlie Benzies said he had found it difficult to get “coherent instructions” from his client.
“But he did admit his guilt to what can only be described as pretty bizarre behaviour,” the solicitor said.
“I thought throughout he needed a psychological report but from the report in July he seems to be okay.
“I certainly think he needs some sort of supervision on release.”
Sheriff Graham Buchanan said that “individually the charges might not be found to be particularly serious or a cause of serious distress” but it was “unnerving and worrying behaviour” when looked at in totality.
“It raises some questions about what his true level of risk might be,” he added.
He jailed Rekas, a prisoner of HGM Grampian, for two years with that sentence backdated to his remand date of November 2021.
He was also handed a 12-month supervised release order meaning he’ll receive support from social workers at the completion of his custodial sentence.
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