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Woman found guilty of stalking Glasgow City Council leader

Amanda McCutcheon targeted councillor Susan Aitken between January and March this year.

Guilty: Susan Aitken was stalked by Amanda McCutcheon.
Guilty: Susan Aitken was stalked by Amanda McCutcheon. SWNS/ Spindrift

A woman has been convicted of stalking the leader of Glasgow City Council.

Amanda McCutcheon, 46, was found guilty of targeting city councillor Susan Aitken between January and March this year.

McCutcheon, from Dennistoun, contacted Ms Aitken several times in a threatening manner, including in a letter which said things such as "I was wondering if you have a death wish" and "You know the old saying Susan, you can run, but you cannot hide".

McCutcheon also turned up at the City Chambers "demanding" to speak to Ms Aitken before being verbally abusive towards staff.

McCutcheon also attacked the councillor on social media, describing Ms Aitken as "psycho Susan" and told a social care worker and police that she was going to attack the leader of the council.

On Friday, Sheriff Lindsay Wood found McCutcheon guilty of stalking.

Sheriff Wood told McCutcheon: "You succeeded in causing fear and alarm to Ms Aitken. You are responsible for causing her distress."

Ms Aitken told the court that on January 30 she was shown a letter by a member of her staff.

She said: "I was quite disturbed, I was taken aback, it wasn't like any letter that I received before."

The letter, from McCutcheon, referenced problems she had with the house she lived in and not being given any suitable alternatives.

Ms Aitken she said her and her staff didn't see any other way of interpreting it except as a death threat, and said "it was definitely an implicit threat".

She told the court of hearing of a second incident in February, and said she "witnessed the impact of it on people" when she returned to the City Chambers building at George Square.

Asked what was running through her mind at that point she said it "became clear it wasn't a one-off" and said it "appeared" to involve the same person as had written the letter.

Ms Aitken then told of a third incident in February when she was on her way back to Glasgow on the train.

She said she was texted by a member of her staff who asked what time her train was due to arrive and was told "don't go anywhere on your own".

Ms Aitken added that was "very upsetting" and it was "not something that ever happened before".

Procurator fiscal depute John Bedford asked how she has coped since seeing the letter, until now.

The councillor wiped tears and cried as she said: "I think I have tried very much to remain calm, to not think about it too much, to continue get on with my job, to continue to work with my colleagues and get on with the job I have to do.

"However, it has been very tense, it has been a difficult period for all of us.

"We have supported each other quite a bit, I think realising I'm realising now as I'm talking about it that it has been very tense."

In evidence McCutcheon said she has been having housing problems for seven years

She told defence lawyer Ian Sievwright: "By the time I sent this letter, I was so angry and frustrated with the system, the people I had been dealing with.

"I had no option but to contact the leader of Glasgow City Council with an angry letter warning that there was a situation arising and it wasn't going to be good."

She was asked what she meant by "I was wondering if you have a death wish".

McCutcheon said: "I meant does she want to have a death on her conscience, mine."

She said: "That's the way I felt, I have been through every emotion, I have felt suicidal, I have felt frustration, anger, let down, all sorts of things."

McCutcheon said it was possible she did swear at council staff when she turned up at the City Chambers and that she went there to sort things out.

But, she denied making any threats to attack Ms Aitken to Karen McDonald, a social care worker or police officers.

Sheriff Wood deferred sentence for reports and remanded McCutcheon in custody.

He said: "This was a deliberate campaign against Susan Aitken.

"I don't think against her personally, but in her capacity of Glasgow City Council leader."

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