Jaclyn McGowan, 36, from Perth and Kinross, pleaded guilty to causing fear and alarm by stalking for nine months by lying about being pregnant.
At Perth Sheriff Court on Wednesday, Sheriff Lindsay Foulis sentenced McGowan to 150 hours of community service after she lied to Jamie Aitken and his family about being pregnant for nine months.
Fiscal depute Tina Dickie told the court that in June 2019, McGowan met with Jamie Aitken after matching on dating app Tinder and spent the night together in a hotel.
About two weeks after the meeting, McGowan messaged Mr Aitken to inform him she was pregnant and planned on keeping the baby. The pair agreed they would try to co-parent the child.
Ms Dickie said Mr Aitken told police in August 2019 McGowan sent him a picture of a crib and told him to transfer £300 to pay for it, which he refused to do.
Shortly after, McGowan claimed to be having a miscarriage. Several days later, McGowan told Mr Aitken it had been a false alarm and she was still pregnant.
In September 2019, McGowan sent pictures of a baby scan to Mr Aitken’s mother, Wendy, telling them Mr Aitken would never be a part of his child’s life, but the family were welcome to be.
In February 2020, McGowan visited a trampoline park in Dundee where Mr Aitken’s brother Corrie worked. He told his brother that despite McGowan supposedly being eight months’ pregnant, she looked “slim and not pregnant”.
She attended the park again several weeks later and appeared to have a large pregnancy bump.
McGowan blocked Mr Aitken from all social media in February 2020 and has had no further contact with him since.
In October 2020, Mr Aitken filed a police report against McGowan, saying her actions had left him feeling low and suicidal.
After being questioned by police, McGowan said after their one-night stand she had taken a pregnancy test, showing her to be pregnant. McGowan had a miscarriage a week later but did not inform Mr Aitken.
She admitted to buying a prosthetic bump to give the appearance of pregnancy while attending the trampoline park and said her actions were to hurt Mr Aitken for the way he had acted when the relationship ended.
McGowan’s solicitor argued that Mr Aitken’s claim he wished to keep the baby “couldn’t be further from the truth”, saying he had made it clear he did not want the child and pressured her to get an abortion.
Sheriff Foulis said: “It seems to me that these actions fall on the less serious category but certainly don’t diminish your actions.
“You pleaded guilty to causing fear and alarm over a period of nine months, so when I say it is on the less serious side, none the less I have to bear that in mind.”
He noted McGowan had not contacted Mr Aitken for nine months before he filed a police report and that the crown was also not seeking a non-harassment order.