Stalker jailed for using drone to spy on victim and her family
Stuart Shedden, 43, sent the device on multiple low-flying missions to intimidate Gloria Killin, in what is believed to be the first case of stalking by drone.
Shedden also stared and gesticulated at her in the street, slashed the tyres of her husband’s cars and called police to report a fake robbery.
He began his campaign after being given permission to go shooting near their farm.
Mrs Killin said: “When you feel threatened by someone and you know they could be walking about with a gun, it’s unsettling.”
Shedden was jailed for six months after being convicted of a course of conduct causing Mrs Killin fear and alarm for nearly nine months.
The former shop manager was also given a three-year non-harassment order preventing any direct or indirect contact with Mrs Killin, 61, or her husband William, 62.
The offences were committed at the family farmhouse near Ardrossan, Ayrshire, and in a street in Saltcoats between June 2016 and February 2017.
Shedden, of West Kilbride, was friendly with a family who had a dispute about land with Mrs Killin, Kilmarnock Sheriff Court heard on Tuesday.
He repeatedly sent a drone hovering over the courtyard of his victim’s home and was caught on CCTV slashing the car tyres in the middle of the night.
Shedden was also recorded reporting a fake robbery at the house on Christmas Eve, resulting in police arriving on Christmas morning. He also loitered on or near Mrs Killin’s property and stared at her, the court was told.
In 2012, Shedden was convicted of harassing the couple by making more than 100 silent phone calls from a withheld number and ordered not to contact his victims.
Jailing him for the latest offence, Sheriff Shirley Foran told him his conduct was “disturbing and distressing”.
Speaking after the case, Mrs Killin, a former academic, said a drone first appeared at her home in 2016 and started hovering around a relative.
“My cousin was sitting in the yard and he put the drone right over her head,” she said.
“When she stood up it went up and when she sat down it did the same. It was there for ages.
Mrs Killin added: “It’s been horrendous but we’re glad that it’s over and we hope he learns his lesson from the sentence.”