Accused: Facebook account was fake

Lanark Sheriff Court Hope Street, Lanark
Lanark Sheriff Court Hope Street, Lanark

A man accused of electronic ‘stalking’ is to mount a rare defence of ‘identity theft’ via a fake Facebook account, Lanark Sheriff Court heard on Thursday.

However, during the same hearing, the accused, 29-year-old Scott Robertson of 130 Goremire Road, Carluke, was refused bail on the grounds of his previous criminal record.

The court heard that Robertson had racked up 57 convictions for various offences, including violence and disorder.

The accused appeared from custody at an interim hearing on Thursday to confirm earlier pleas of not guilty to a trio of charges.

These are that, between July 12 last year and January 15 this year, from an address in Forestlea Road, Carluke, he sent a number of Facebook messages to Michelle Arthur that were grossly offensive and contained insults and offensive language, and that he did this while having been granted bail three times on other matters, the most recent being on September 29 last year; that, between July 12, 2015 and January 15 this year, from an address in Mill Place, Thankerton, his own home and the house in Forestlea Road, he engaged in a course of conduct which caused Michelle Arthur fear and alarm by sending her a number of Facebook messages that contained insults and offensive language; and, finally, that he breached a condition of the bail order granted him on Septmber 29 not to contact Michelle Arthur by doing so via Facebook.

A solicitor for Robertson told the court that the basis of the defence case in his client’s forthcoming trial was that “another person had set up a false Facebook page and posted these things which are causing alarm and upset to Ms Arthur.”

The solicitor went on to ask that Robertson be allowed bail to await his trial, set for February 25.

He said that his client had successfully completed a court-sanctioned Drink and Drugs Treatment Order and that his recent pattern of behaviour had improved since completing that course.

However, the motion for bail was opposed by the Crown, the court being reminded that Robertson had already been granted three separate bail orders for other matters and he now stood accused of breaching one of them.

The Crown also intimated its objection to bail on the grounds of Robertson’s previous criminal record; this now totalled convictions for 57 different offences, these including disorderly conduct, acts of violence and the breaching of various previous court orders.

Sheriff Scott Pattison said that he would not be grabnting Robertson any further bail because of his previous offending and the existing bail orders.

He remanded him back into custody to await his trial later this month.