Police officer on stalking charge

Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court'Pic Neil Hanna
Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court'Pic Neil Hanna

A police officer from Fife is to stand trial accused of using a police database to find the phone numbers of two women - then using that information to stalk them.

Russell Taylor faces a total of 11 charges at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court.

He is first said to have stalked Laura Allan for a period of almost 18 months at a hair salon as well as at gyms, pubs and nightclubs across the Fife area.

It is alleged he repeatedly followed her, approached her, stared at her, made threats to her and repeatedly sent her threatening and abusive text messages.

Taylor is then said to have repeatedly made threatening or abusive telephone calls to her and repeatedly placed her in a state of fear and alarm for her safety.

The officer is later said to have “knowingly or recklessly” accessed the then Fife Constabulary’s database to find the personal phone number of Lauren Bell on April 19, 2011.

He is then said to have stalked her by repeatedly phoning her and sending her messages via Facebook.

Taylor is accused of then accessing Hilary McBride’s number on April 22, 2011 before stalking her between that date and February 24 2013 by repeatedly sending her unwanted texts, phoning her, sending her Faceook messages and attending at her home.

Prosecutors say he then accessed crimefiles containing confidential information about Lauren Bell in April and May 2011 as well as in October 2012.

Taylor faces further allegations of viewing two other crimefiles with “no operational reason to do so” in August 2010 and September 2011.

Taylor, 34, of Peasehill Gait, Rosyth, pleaded not guilty to a total of 11 charges on indictment.

That includes one charge of breach of the peace, three of stalking and seven under the Data Protection Act.

Sheriff Jamie Gilchrist QC continued the case to a further pre-trial hearing next week.