Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Scotsman business editor Terry Murden fined over stalking

The Scotsman and Scotland on Sunday business editor has been fined £500 and given a three-year non-harassment order for stalking a female PR consultant.

Terry Murden, 57, from Edinburgh, was found guilty last month of stalking Nicki Sturzaker, 39, between 27 June and 4 October, 2013.

He had denied causing her fear and alarm by going to her flat uninvited, leaving unwanted gifts and notes.

He denied uttering threats, contacting her employers and writing about her.

Edinburgh Sheriff Court also heard earlier how Murden repeatedly sent unwanted emails to Ms Sturzaker.

Murden had previously had a relationship with Ms Sturzaker.

In her evidence, Ms Sturzaker told the court she was employed as a consultant with the PR firm, Big Partnership, when she was introduced to Murden in 2011.

She said at first their relationship was "purely work" but that had changed about a year later.

Repeated emails

In his evidence, Murden said claims that he had cost Ms Sturzaker her job were totally unfounded.

Murden admitted sending two or three emails to Ms Sturzaker because he had not had any word from her.

"She had suddenly disappeared" he said. "I got no contact emails were unwanted, or gifts were unwanted or notices from the police. She simply disappeared".

Defence solicitor, Jim Stephenson, said the relationship between him and Ms Sturzaker, had "stops and starts and Mr Murden had difficulty coming to terms with the ending of the relationship".

He did accept with hindsight that he should not have sent her repeated emails.

The lawyer said the conviction could have serious consequences for Murden's employment, as investigations into that had still not reached a conclusion.

With the possible loss of his employment, he would have no income and had a mortgage on the family home and rent for the flat where he was living at present.

Mr Stephenson said his client's relationship with his wife was quite strong and added: "I understand that they live separately, but it may well be there could be reconciliation".

Sentencing Murden, Sheriff Donald Corke told him: "The offence of which you were found guilty is a statutory offence of stalking and the fear and alarm you caused Ms Sturzaker is your responsibility, not hers."

Fining Murden £500, Sheriff Corke said that because he was a first offender and there had been no problems while he was on bail, he would place him on a three-year non-harassment order.

"That will take you to the age of 60 and enable both of you to get on with your lives" he said.

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