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Not proven verdict after trial

A MAN who was accused of stalking his ex-girlfriend and causing her fear or alarm was acquitted following a trial at Lerwick Sheriff Court on Thursday.

Sheriff Philip Mann delivered a not proven verdict for Nicholas Gifford, of Lerwick’s Robertson Crescent, on a charge of repeatedly walking past the woman’s address and staring in the windows between 22 April and 7 May this year, which he had denied.

The 29 year old also pled not guilty to breaching the terms of a bail order by approaching and contacting his ex without reasonable excuse during the same time period, which was ultimately accepted by procurator Duncan Mackenzie following witness evidence.

The complainer told court that she was “intimidated” by the behaviour of her ex-boyfriend, who would allegedly stop and stare into her windows.

The offences were alleged to have taken place after both Gifford and the woman ended up living on nearby streets.

Defence agent Tommy Allan argued that his client was simply walking along the street as a “free citizen”.

The charge was altered to remove an allegation of repeatedly attending her workplace and staring at her before the sheriff ruled that he could not “hand on heart” say that Gifford’s actions were intended to cause fear or alarm.