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Tradesman (67) fined for tailing woman along roads by Forres

By Ali Morrison

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A VAN driver's "inappropriate" decision to follow a woman he thought was a customer who owed him money will cost him nearly £400.

The woman was followed down the private road at Burgie Mains...Picture: Google Maps
The woman was followed down the private road at Burgie Mains...Picture: Google Maps

Self-employed tradesman Robert Sands (67), of Grant Street, Burghead, was handed the fine at Elgin Sheriff Court on Thursday, June 1.

Sands previously pleaded guilty to behaving in a "threatening or abusive manner" by following a car along the A96 and the road to Burgie Mains, by Forres, in his Ford Transit.

Fiscal depute Karen Poke said that, at around 3.30pm on January 28, 2022, the victim was driving from Elgin to Forres and stopped at a layby on the A96, near the Alves crawler lane.

The driver saw Sands pull into the same layby, who then followed her when she continued her journey 10 minutes later.

As the tradesman tailed her along the A96 after the Alves railway bridge, he was "trying to get her attention" and "she became concerned that the van was following her."

The driver pulled into the private road at Burgie Mains along with Sands, who “stayed for about 10 seconds, did a U-turn, and drove away."

Having noted the van's registration number and its male driver, the victim reported the incident at Forres Police Station.

The next day Police cautioned and charged Sands who "made no reply".

Solicitor Matthew O'Neill, representing the van driver, said Sands believed that the car he was following was being driven by somebody who had not paid him for work he had completed.

The 68 year-old now admits that "the attempt to carry out his own investigation was inappropriate", Mr O'Neill added.

“Certainly, he has since acknowledged that this behaviour should not be done."

Sheriff Gordon Fleetwood ordered Sands to pay a total of £395 in fines, within 28 days.

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