A FORRES MAN has been cleared of stalking a coffee shop waitress close to his place of work in Inverness.
During his three-day trial in Inverness Ashley Martin, 28, admitted that he lived in a fantasy world – but denied that he had frightened 20-year-old Costa Coffee employee Rebecca Corrance.
The court heard that Martin had undergone a psychological examination prior to the trial and assessed as having literacy problems, poor attention span and was not good at listening to or processing words.
Defence solicitor Eilidh Macdonald told the jury that it was simply “immature lovesick behaviour” that landed her client in court, adding that while the law was right to prosecute stalking this was “not one of these cases” and that “he meant her no harm and she was giving him mixed messages”.
Martin, of Grange Green Farm Cottage in Forres, had denied causing Ms Corrance fear and alarm by repeatedly attending her place of work, following her home, sending her letters and repeatedly contacting her on Facebook.
Jurors had heard that Ms Corrance had never replied to his Facebook messages and her boyfriend and warned Martin to “back off”. It was when the messages continued that the police were contacted.
Ms Corrance told the court that she had never led Martin on, saying: “He was a regular customer to the shop and we were told to be polite and friendly. I was never interested in him – I felt that he should leave me alone but I was not assertive enough and did not actually tell him.”
The jury considered their decision for over an hour before returning a majority not guilty verdict.