‘Weird and creepy’ man threatened girlfriend, court told

A “weird and creepy” man threatened to blow up his girlfriend and abduct her child.

Obsessive boyfriend Kenneth Harper, 31, of Exnaboe, Virkie, made the threat just weeks after their relationship started.

Harper’s telephone outburst came the day after he attended the woman’s address – despite having been told not to because she was innocently entertaining a male visitor.

At Lerwick Sheriff Court today Harper pleaded guilty to carrying out the offence at an address in the town in October.

Procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie said Harper had demonstrated obsessive behaviour to the woman, even though their relationship had been going on for only a matter of weeks.

“His behaviour is concerning. At the very least it could be described as weird and creepy but, maybe more accurately, it’s quite sinister.

“He admitted in his interview with police his behaviour towards this girl was obsessive. Early in the relationship he provided her with a mobile phone so he could contact her at any time.”

The court heard the incidents started when the girl had a male friend at her home.

“There was nothing going on between her and this friend at all. She is entitled to have male acquaintances,” the fiscal added.

He said the woman knew that would cause difficulties with Harper. She phoned him to say she did not want him at the house at all that night.

But Harper attended the house when he saw another car parked outside the address.

Mr MacKenzie said Harper immediately wanted to know whose car it was. But he left without entering the house.

“He accepts that, had he not left, he probably would have caused some damage to the car.”

Mr MacKenzie added Harper’s subsequent phone call the following day was clearly made with the intention to cause fear and alarm.

“It beggars belief and defies explanation why somebody who was in a relationship for only a matter of weeks was so controlling and obsessive, and felt the need to phone her the night after – after things had calmed down – to say he was going to blow her up and abduct her child.

“She was so frightened of him and his behaviour that she believed these things were a real possibility.

“I can only emphasise it becomes extremely concerning when somebody becomes so obsessive in such a short space of time.”

Defence agent Tommy Allan said Harper had accepted his behaviour had been obsessive, given the short length of the relationship.

Mr Allan said his intention had been to ask that Harper’s case might be deferred for good behaviour.

However sheriff Philip Mann ordered social work background reports be compiled. He released Harper on bail until 7th March.


Get Latest News in Your Inbox

Join the The Shetland Times mailing list to get one daily email update at midday on what's happening in Shetland.