An obsessed student cyber-stalked a mute girl who knocked back his unwanted affections.
Martyn Meechan, 19, mounted a hate campaign against Naomi Low by tormenting her with abusive and hateful messages using social media.
Meechan used Instagram and Twitter to torment Ms Low, a selective mute who only communicates using social media, leaving her terrified and fearing for her safety.
Paisley Sheriff Court heard the student, a former pupil at Castlehead High School in the town and who now attends university, had befriended her online and attempted to strike up a romantic relationship.
However, when she rejected his advances Meechan became vengeful and bombarded her with 43 hateful messages, even creating fake accounts to target his victim for around six months.
He also abused Ms Low’s mother Jane, who was sticking up for her daughter, by sending her online threats.
Shamefaced Meechan of Abbotsford Crescent, Paisley, appeared in the dock for sentencing after pleading guilty to a charge of engaging in a course of conduct which caused his victim to suffer fear alarm by persistently sending her messages between December 1, 2017, and June 14, this year, which were offensive and threatening in nature.
The court had requested background reports about
Defence agent Gordon Nicol said Meechan, a university undergraduate, deeply regretted his conduct and had admitted responsibility for his actions.
He said his client was a socially awkward young man who found it difficult to make friends and preferred a hermit-like existence.
He said: “Reports show he is a loner.
“He struggles to relate to people.
“He prefers to stay in his house. He doesn’t like to be involved socially.
“I would ask the court to consider deferring sentence for good behaviour rather than involving the social work department at the present time.
“I would consider asking the court to impose an order that will allow him to carry it out, such as unpaid work, a Restriction of Liberty Order, or perhaps a Community Payback Order.”
However, Sheriff Colin Pettigrew said he would deal with Meechan “because there was no justification for not imposing a sentence.”
He said: “You engaged in a course of conduct which caused the young lady fear and alarm.
“You made communications with her, someone known to be selectively mute, and she replied with information she was no longer interested.
“You retaliated by persistently sending messages to her on social media which were vile and abusive.
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“You created false names and sent her further threatening messages. Also sent messages to her mother.
“She is selectively mute. She communicated through social media.
“She even deleted her account because you removed her ability to communicate with the outside world.”
Sheriff Pettigrew said Meechan’s inability to cope with her “rejection” and his habit of abusing drink and cannabis, had led him to commit an offence, which had to be marked by the court.
He handed him 160 hours unpaid work, reduced from 200 hours because of his guilty plea, as a direct alternative to custody.
He also imposed a five-year Non Harrassment Order banning Meechan from contacting his victim, either directly or indirectly, which also includes social media channels.
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