Tayside and Central Scotland

Man tracked woman he saw at hospital using Facebook

Diego Moreno
Image caption Diego Moreno tracked the woman down by her Facebook status update

A man who sent obscene messages via Facebook to a woman he spotted in a hospital waiting room has been placed on the sex offenders register.

Diego Moreno, 43, saw the woman while he was waiting in the Forth Valley Royal Hospital in Larbert to see a doctor about a knee injury.

After his appointment he tracked the woman down on Facebook via a post she made while waiting in the hospital.

Moreno, from Falkirk, was sentenced to 120 hours of unpaid work.

He was placed on the sex offenders register for six months and told by Sheriff Craig Caldwell that he had misused the internet to send his victim "disgusting and frightening" unsolicited messages.

Unknown user

Falkirk Sheriff Court heard he told the woman he liked her T-shirt and nipples and made other lewd comments after seeing the woman at the hospital on 2 May 2011.

Mark Keane, prosecuting, said: "The woman was at Larbert Hospital for an appointment. At the time she updated her Facebook status to say she was at the clinic.

"The accused was also there for an appointment on an injured knee.

"About four hours later, the woman engaged in a conversation with a friend on Facebook and checked her public comments and saw a message from an unknown user, Diego Moreno."

The comment was removed about 30 minutes later.

Mr Keane said the woman had been alarmed by the comment as she had never met the accused - or recalled seeing him at the hospital - and contacted the police.

'Deeply frightening'

Moreno told the officers who interviewed him that he was just being "silly", the court heard.

The 43-year-old admitted sending the "obscene, indecent and grossly offensive" message from his former home in River Street, Falkirk.

Defence agent Murray Aitkin said his client was "apologetic" for the distress he caused the woman.

But Sheriff Caldwell told Moreno the offence "wasn't just silly but deeply concerning and deeply frightening".

"It's disgusting using this sort of media to send this type of message," he added.

"It's easy to sit with a mobile phone or computer and contact people using social media and make offensive sexual remarks.

"You should understand that it is a criminal offence to use them to convey messages such as this."