Author Janice Galloway’s ‘stalker’ walks free

Author Janice Galloway. Picture: Contributed

Author Janice Galloway. Picture: Contributed

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A CONCERT pianist who faced charges of stalking the best-selling Scots author Janice Galloway has walked free from court after recovering from a mental disorder.

Graeme McNaught, 55, was accused of going to ex-lover Miss Galloway’s home unannounced and trying to leave her letters and sending her an unwanted parcel.

He was also accused of sending requests of friendship to her and her family members on social media site LinkedIn.

But after a trial at Hamilton Sheriff Court last month, a jury took less than an hour to acquit him on the grounds of insanity.

However, McNaught was held in a psychiatric unit and ordered to return to court for a sheriff to rule on further medical treatment for him.

Yesterday(FRI) Sheriff Marie Smart made no order against McNaught and allowed him to return home after hearing he had responded well to treatment.

She said: “The jury acquitted you and found you weren’t criminally responsible for your actions due to a serious mental health condition.

“Your reason for contacting Janice Galloway was due to your belief that a book published by her, which was described as a work of fiction, drew on an incident in your life.

“The jury were satisfied that you had gone to her address, posted one letter and left in a taxi.

“They were also satisfied that you instructed a parcel be delivered to her home by a taxi.

“You have suffered for many years from a mental health disorder.

“You have cooperated with treatment and there are now no symptoms of mental disorder and you are stable, your behaviour described as appropriate and your condition is in remission.

“I am satisfied that I can then follow the recommendation in the reports and I make no order in this case.

“That means you are free to leave the court.”

McNaught had walked free from court last year on earlier charges of stalking Miss Galloway amid concerns over his mental state.

The latest trial had heard Miss Galloway, 59, of Uddingston, Lanarkshire, say she had felt ‘suicidal’ as McNaught repeatedly tried to contact her.

She also told the court how she feared her former partner would try and ‘sexually humiliate’ her.

Miss Galloway and McNaught, of Mount Vernon, Glasgow, met in 1990 and had a six year on-off relationship during which they had a son.

He had lodged a special defence at the start of the trial that he was not criminally responsible for the alleged incidents of October last year because he was suffering a mental health condition.

Last September, McNaught faced five charges of acting in a threatening and abusive manner and placing Miss Galloway in a state of fear and alarm in a trial at Hamilton Sheriff Court.

However, concerns over his mental health resulted in the trial being halted after experts said he was not fit to continue, and found he posed no danger to the public. Sheriff Ray Small then conducted an “examination of facts” before ruling that he carried out the offences.

Because there was no conviction in the case, Mr McNaught was told he would face no further punishment, despite prosecutors asking for him to be ordered not to contact Miss Galloway.

Following the ruling, Miss Galloway said: “I am extremely let down by this present state of affairs. A great many other women must be too.

“I am extremely dismayed and shocked that Sheriff Small is left with no legal option to enforce any kind of order, despite his judgement upon the findings that Graeme McNaught did indeed commit the acts of harassment.

“This effectively leaves Mr McNaught free to continue his harassment of me, my publisher, my agency, my friends and, most importantly, my family.”

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