Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Mark Armstrong jailed for stalking woman in Edinburgh

A 40-year-old man has been jailed for 30 months for stalking a woman in Edinburgh.

Mark Armstrong, from Edinburgh, was found guilty at Edinburgh Sheriff Court earlier this month and sentenced on Wednesday.

The offences happened between 1 October and 31 December 2011.

Armstrong was made subject of a 12 month supervised release order. He is also not allowed to approach or contact the woman for 20 years.

Passing sentence Sheriff Neil Mackinnon said: "The requirements for public safety demand me to impose a custodial sentence on you."

Armstrong was never romantically involved with the woman but pursued her all over the city.

He approached her in Madeira Street, St Andrews Square and Leith Walk.

He turned up at her workplace and made phone calls in which he threatened violence.

Armstrong is one of the first people in Scotland to be convicted under new anti-stalking laws.

Lasting impact

The victim said: "I am relieved that the legal case is now concluded and pleased with the outcome and that justice has finally been done."

Lesley Thomson QC, the Solicitor General, said: "Stalking can have a devastating and lasting impact on the lives of victims.

"Scotland's prosecutors are dedicated to bringing to justice all those who, like Mark Armstrong, pursue a campaign of stalking and harassment.

"Though many of his actions, if taken in isolation, could perhaps appear innocuous, it was his persistent course of conduct that caused fear and alarm to his victim and constituted the statutory offence of stalking.

"We would encourage anybody who is the subject of this type of behaviour to have no hesitation in reporting what is happening to the police and to be reassured that police and prosecutors take such offences extremely seriously."

Armstrong spent his youth in Canada and has previous convictions from his time there.

Defence solicitor advocate Jim Stephenson said his client had been abusing steroids during the time of the stalking.

He said: "He accepts he was abusing steroids at the time of the offences. He obtained these steroids from the internet and he was injecting them once a week.

"He accepts that this made him more aggressive."

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