A security guard who sent a woman messages from Dundee’s biggest shopping centre telling her he had guns and was watching her “from miles away” has avoided a jail sentence.
Gun nut Kevin McLean, 37, sent terrifying messages to Karen Traill from the Overgate after contacting her on dating site Match.com — telling her he could see her through a rifle scope and was going to turn up at the school where he thought she worked.
The pair had exchanged numbers and were chatting via WhatsApp but McLean left Miss Traill so terrified she went to police after he told her he had 10 guns and two bulletproof vests.
McLean had added that he “loved shooting targets” and threatened to turn up at Bell Baxter High School, where she used to work — leaving her “scared” for her own safety and that of pupils at the school.
He had his firearms confiscated by police as soon as the allegations were made.
Fiscal depute Laura Bruce told Dundee Sheriff Court: “He had warned he would attend Bell Baxter High School in the belief she worked there – she does not in fact work there.
“He confirmed to police he had sent the messages and said he had seen someone who looked like her outside Bell Baxter High School and assumed as a result that she worked there.”
Lawyer Paul Parker Smith said: “He accepts this is a serious matter – especially given the numerous school shootings that seem to occur on a regular basis in the US.”
McLean admitted that on February 26 and 27, at WH Smith, High Street, Dunfermline, the Overgate Shopping Centre and at his home in Auchterderran Road, Lochgelly, he sent by means of a public electronic communications network, messages to Karen Traill that were of a grossly offensive, indecent, obscene or menacing character which stated that he knew she worked at Bell Baxter High School, that he was in possession of 10 guns and bulletproof vests, that with his gun he could watch her from miles away, that he loved shooting targets and that he threatened to attend at the school and placed her in a state of fear and alarm and apprehension for her safety and the safety of others.
Sheriff Alastair Carmichael told McLean: “This is a serious offence and one which is in the territory where I have to think about a custodial sentence.”