Woman guilty of stalking Glasgow City Council leader

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Image caption,
Susan Aitken was stalked by Amanda McCutcheon over a three-month period

A woman who sent a "death threat" to the leader of Glasgow City Council has been convicted of a stalking campaign.

Amanda McCutcheon, 46, targeted Susan Aitken over a three month period between January and March, this year.

The mother-of-two sent Ms Aitken a letter with the phrase "I was wondering if you have a death wish".

McCutcheon also turned up at the City Chambers and "demanded" to speak to Ms Aitken before shouting and swearing at staff.

'Fear and alarm'

Glasgow Sheriff Court also heard she posted comments on social media describing Ms Aitken as "psycho Susan" and told a social care worker and police that she was going to attack the leader of the council.

Sheriff Lindsay Wood found McCutcheon, from Dennistoun, guilty of stalking the council leader.

He said: "You succeeded in causing fear and alarm to Ms Aitken.

"You are responsible for causing her distress."

Ms Aitken told the court that on 30 January she was shown a letter by a member of her staff.

She said: "I was quite disturbed, I was taken aback, it wasn't like any letter that I received before."

The letter included the phrases "I was wondering if you have a death wish" and "I hold you completely responsible for my intolerable situation".

Death threat

The letter, from McCutcheon, referenced problems she had with the house she lived in and not being given any suitable alternatives.

Ms Aitken she said her and her staff didn't see any other way of interpreting it except as a death threat.

The following month McCutcheon turned up at the City Chambers and shouted and swore at the staff who dealt with her.

Days later the council leader was informed of a third incident when she was on her way back to Glasgow on a train.

She said she was texted by a member of her staff who asked what time her train was due to arrive and the told her: "Don't go anywhere on your own".

Ms Aitken, who cried during her evidence, said it was "very upsetting" and confirmed she hasn't travelled on pubic transport since.

'Angry and frustrated'

In evidence McCutcheon said she has been having housing problems for seven years.

She told defence lawyer Ian Sievwright: "By that time I sent this letter, I was so angry and frustrated with the system, the people I had been dealing with.

"I had no option but to contact the leader of Glasgow City Council with an angry letter warning that there was a situation arising and it wasn't going to be good."

Sheriff Wood deferred sentence for reports and remanded McCutcheon in custody.

He said: "This was a deliberate campaign against Susan Aitken.

"I don't think against her personally, but in her capacity of Glasgow City Council leader."