Tayside and Central Scotland

Serial stalker Mark Boucher given community sentence

Mark Boucher Image copyright Supplied
Image caption Mark Boucher threatened to "butcher" an ex-partner after posting a photo on Facebook

A serial stalker and domestic abuser who harassed four women has been given a community sentence.

A court was told Mark Boucher was assessed as not suitable for such a disposal by social workers.

A sheriff told Boucher that while her "instinct" was to jail him the "longer-term protection of the public" would be better served by a community sentence.

Boucher, 28, admitted four charges of stalking between 2007 and January this year.

'Entrenched attitudes'

Dundee Sheriff Court was told that Boucher breached a community payback order twice last year and social workers said they did not want him on a domestic abuse reform course because of his "entrenched attitudes".

The court was told Boucher made a string of threats to his ex-partner after he was remanded for other offences.

He made the threats to the woman after he was spared a prison sentence last year for posting a picture of himself on Facebook brandishing a machete then threatening to "butcher" her.

Boucher claimed he could access her social media accounts to check up on her, even when he was in custody.

The court was told Boucher harassed all four of his victims during and after their relationships and accused them of being unfaithful when he himself was seeing other women.

The offences took place at addresses in Dundee, Perth and Forfar.

'Fear and alarm'

Solicitor advocate Jim Laverty, defending, said: "He accepts full responsibility for these offences.

"He understands his behaviour would have caused fear and alarm to the individuals mentioned."

Sheriff Lorna Drummond QC imposed a community payback order with 230 hours of unpaid work, three years' supervision and a restriction of liberty order confining him to his home from 19:00 to 07:00 daily for three months.

Non-harassment orders were also issued banning Boucher from contacting his victims for five years.

Sheriff Drummond said: "It is clear that you are not assessed as suitable for a community disposal.

"It is therefore my instinct to send you to jail for all these matters.

"However, I'm of the view that the most important thing in terms of protection of the public is to address your offending attitude.

"That could be done by sending you to prison and supervising you on release, but it is probably best done over a longer period in the community."

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