A 43 year-old police officer whose course of conduct caused a vulnerable woman significant fear and alarm has been sentenced to two years and eight months in prison and given a three year a non-harassment order at Perth Sheriff Court today.
Scott Gorrie pled guilty to a charge of stalking, two charges of attempting to pervert the course of justice and of breach the terms of his bail by contacting a witness.
Perth Sheriff Court heard that in the course of his duties in early May 2018 Gorrie was called to the home of a woman regarding a domestic complaint involving her estranged husband.
Less than a week later he made contact with her via Facebook and during subsequent messages she confided in Gorrie her fear that her estranged husband was monitoring her movements in some way.
In these conversations Gorrie, led her to believe he was a single father of two who was separated from his wife. From mid-June 2018 Gorrie began creating an elaborate fiction based on the fears she held regarding her ex-husband.
Gorrie started to send messages leading her to believe that her ex-husband, along with a number of others, was having them followed. The content and tone of the messages preyed on her fears and reinforced her beliefs that her ex-husband was in some way monitoring her movements and ‘had it in’ for her. Gorrie made her believe that he was in personal danger.
Gorrie’s messages became increasingly alarming and frightening and caused his victim to be signed off from work due to stress and anxiety.
His fiction began to unravel when his victim contacted police about her ex-husband’s conduct. Gorrie attempted to cover up his offence by persuading a casual acquaintance to provide a false account of having found a mobile phone in a local park.
He also attempted to persuade another man to deliver a letter to a witness, telling her to provide false information to the police and to delete and dispose of a mobile phone. He also attempted to message the same witness while on bail.
Les Brown, Head of the Criminal Allegations Against the Police Division, said:
“Stalking can have a devastating and lasting impact on the lives of victims. Scott Gorrie knowingly placed a vulnerable woman in a state of fear and alarm through his criminal behaviour.
“This was a full and thorough investigation by prosecutors and Police Scotland’s Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) and I am grateful to all involved for their assistance in securing today’s outcome.
“COPFS 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.”