Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Stalker jailed for online harassment campaign

Jill Sharp
Image caption Jill Sharp admitted a lengthy campaign of harassment against a former friend and her partner

A woman who created fake social media accounts to carry out a campaign of harassment has been jailed for a year.

Jill Sharp, a former mental health worker from North Lanarkshire, admitted stalking two people between January 2014 and August 2017.

Livingston Sheriff Court heard that Sharp was jealous when a former friend formed a relationship and got married.

The 32-year-old began to target the couple after she was the subject of an article in the Daily Record newspaper.

It reported that Sharp had she created a "fake second life" online, using photos another couple put on social media.

Sharp believed her former friend and her partner were responsible for the story.

'Wholly unacceptable'

Her harassment campaign included sending messages to her victims' employers and their local golf club, accusing them of being drug dealers and committing sectarian offences.

As well as abusive and threatening text messages and emails, she also sent "poison pen letters" cut out of newspapers.

The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service said Sharp also used fake social media accounts, took pictures from her victims' accounts and posted them elsewhere in an act of revenge.

Laura Buchan, the procurator fiscal for Lothian and the Borders, said Sharp had caused her victims "significant anxiety and alarm".

"The invasion of the personal lives of her victim's was wholly unacceptable," she added.

"Stalking can have a devastating and lasting impact on the lives of victims. We will continue to prosecute stalking offences effectively and appropriately, and use the full powers of the legislation available to us.

"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."

Sharp was also given a five year non-harassment order.

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