A PAISLEY man who had “an all-consuming infatuation” with a librarian has been spared jail, despite stalking her for a full year.

Stephen Suttie hounded the woman for 12 months, repeatedly turning up at her work, waiting for her to leave and then following her once she left.

He also repeatedly commented on her physical appearance and moved close to her any time she ventured out from behind her desk.

Suttie, 43, became infatuated with May Gormley, who has worked at Paisley Central Library for 29 years, after he started visiting the library most days in December 2015.

And, between June 1, 2016, and June 22 this year, he carried out a course of conduct towards Ms Gormley which frightened her.

He pleaded guilty to a stalking charge during a hearing at Paisley Sheriff Court in June.

He admitted “engaging in a course of conduct” which caused her fear or alarm, in breach of Section 39(1) of the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010.

Sentence was deferred for background reports and Suttie returned to the dock this week to learn his fate.

Procurator Fiscal Depute Frank Clarke explained how Suttie’s behaviour had escalated, with him frequently making comments that frightened Ms Gormley, and at one point telling her colleague he “fancied” the victim.

After he was spotted following her into the town centre one day, he was banned from the library for three months from March 21 this year, the court heard.

On June 9 this year he waited outside the library and followed after she left work, tailing her for half a mile on foot before standing next to her as she waited to cross the road.

He did not speak to her and walked off in the other direction, prompting her to inform her work and then the police to be contacted. On June 22 he wrote her a letter apologising for his actions.

He was later arrested and interviewed and said he realised he had made a mistake with how he had behaved towards her.

Defence solicitor David Nicholson said it was clear Suttie had shown remorse.

He said: “This was more than an interest in her – it was an infatuation and an infatuation that became all-consuming.

After hearing that Suttie, of George Street, had reached the age of 43 without ever having broken the law, Sheriff Colin Pettigrew said: “It’s always disappointing when a man of your age appears before the court as a first offender.”

He ordered him to carry out 160 hours of unpaid work, reduced from 240 as he admitted his guilt, and be supervised for 18 months.