A Perthshire man whose ex-lover used a fake baby bump to trick him into believing she was pregnant has described his ordeal as a “proper nightmare”.
Jamie Aitken broke his silence after former partner Jaclyn McGowan admitted stalking him following a one-night stand.
The pair met at a wedding and McGowan contacted him a few weeks later to say she was pregnant.
The 36-year-old, who pleaded guilty a course of conduct which caused fear and alarm, kept up the act for nine months and even given her fake baby a name.
She repeatedly discussed the pregnancy with members of Mr Aitken’s family, asked him for £300 to buy a cot and even turned up at his brother’s workplace, appearing to be heavily pregnant.
Mr Aitken said: “It was a proper nightmare.
“I only met the woman once. It was after a wedding, she had a hotel room. I don’t really remember it.
“Then a few weeks later, she told me she was pregnant,” he told the Daily Mail. “I thought I was going to have a child.”
‘She tried to turn my own family against me’
Mr Aitken believes McGowan, who is from Blairgowrie, had used her own sister’s baby scan to dupe the family.
“She tried to turn my own family against me, including my own brother,” he said. “She was gaslighting from all these different angles.
“She turned up at my brother’s work when she was meant to be about seven months with this baby bump. I couldn’t believe it.”
He said: “It turned out, and I later got told, that her sister was actually pregnant at the same time and that’s where the scan photo came from. She needs to be stopped.
“I want to protect other people from her. I hope she gets the medical help she needs.”
McGowan contacted Mr Aitken’s mother Wendy and sent her scan photos and details of fictitious pre-natal appointments to her. She said Mr Aitken could not attend pre-natal appointments with her – but said Mrs Aitken could see her ‘grandchild’.
McGowan also approached Mr Aitken’s brother, Corrie, at his work at a trampoline park in Dundee, claiming she was carrying the unborn child, but that he could ‘play a part in the boy’s life’.
Solicitor Mike Tavendale told Perth Sheriff Court on Friday that his client had a number of issues, while fiscal depute Lisa Marshall confirmed that McGowan had no previous convictions.
Sheriff Neil Bowie said: “I can see it is an unusual charge in itself. Sentence will have to be deferred for a criminal justice social work report.”
McGowan is due to be sentenced later this month.