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Wick man guilty of stalking ex and her new partner

By Court Reporter

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Wick Sheriff Court.
Wick Sheriff Court.

A Wick man has been convicted of stalking his ex and her new partner.

Mark Falconer (38) was found guilty at the end of a three-day trial at the town's sheriff court and will be sentenced later this year.

He had denied entering into a course of conduct that caused Derek Falconer (no relation) and Nicola Swanson fear and alarm between June 2021 and May 2022.

Sheriff Neil Wilson heard how Mark Falconer stalked the couple for almost a year and threatened them. The couple said they felt “intimidated” and “scared”.

Derek Falconer (38) described an occasion when the accused followed him while driving home from Miss Swanson's house in Wick.

Mark Falconer continued to follow him as he drove to the Tesco store in Wick where he works. The accused was banned from the store but followed him up to the entrance where he pulled up alongside his car and told him - "You're dead...you're dead."

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Derek Falconer referred to another occasion when he arrived at work to learn that the accused had been seen in the car park, confirmed by CCTV footage.

Derek Falconer told the court: "It seemed that Mark knew he was banned from Tesco but wasn't worried."

In another incident, the accused appeared at Derek Falconer's home, banged on his car while he was sitting in it and threatened him.

Derek Falconer also described the day he discovered his car tyres had been slashed and a couple of days later he saw the accused passing in his coal lorry.

Derek Falconer said: "He was laughing his head off".

Earlier, Nicola Swanson (34) spoke about the accused and described his actions as “intimidating” and “scary”. She split with the accused in 2019 after a nine-year relationship.

She said that on one occasion, she spotted the accused as a passenger in a car and was worried that it was going to follow her to her home so she drove in a different direction, taking random streets to avoid him.

Miss Swanson, who also worked at Tesco, then, described an occasion when the accused drove around the car park, sometimes in his coal lorry and other times in his car. She also observed him passing the staff department while she was at work.

Miss Swanson also stated that the accused often drove past her home in his coal lorry. At the time her partner and herself retained their own homes in Wick but had subsequently moved in together.

Miss Swanson referred to further incidents when she returned home after dropping her daughter off at school.

She told the court: "When he saw my car he would stand beside his coal lorry and stare at me when I passed."

The court was shown footage of a man identified as the accused entering Derek Falconer's home and causing damage.

After hearing final submissions Sheriff Wilson found Mark Falconer, of Hill Avenue, Wick, guilty.

The sheriff said he found the evidence of Derek Falconer and Nicola Swanson "both credible and reliable" .

Mark Falconer will be sentenced on May 15 after the sheriff considers a background report and decides whether a non-harassment order should be imposed.

The accused admitted a previous conviction in which he behaved in a threatening or abusive manner towards Miss Swanson and attempted to pervert the course of justice.

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