Stalker pianist walks free from court

Graeme McNaught, 54, a concert pianist and lecturer at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, walked free yesterday despite a conviction for menacing his former partner, the author, Janice Galloway.

The Sherriff’s Court had previously decided that five charges had been proven against McNaught – including the charge of stalking and ‘acting in a threatening and abusive manner and and placing Miss Galloway in a state of fear and alarm’.

However, the court set him free unconditionally and said it has no authority to order psychiatric treatment.

The Conservatoire has made no statement with regard to his future teaching activities.

graeme mcnaught

 

 

Ms Galloway issued the following statement last night:

I am extremely dismayed and, given that the police in Scotland are presently attempting to press for greater justice for victims of stalking, shocked that the Sheriff was left with no means to enforce any kind of order, despite his judgement upon the findings that Graeme McNaught did indeed commit the acts of harassment (stalking) with which he was charged. 

 
At the root of the impasse lies two psychiatric reports, commissioned by the court, which directly render any kind of order – medical or legal – possible. This in turn, with no reference to evidence or the history of the case, effectively leaves Mr McNaught free to continue his harassment of me, my publisher, my agency, my friends and, most importantly, my family with no way forward. Indeed, it has already (a matter of hours after the impasse) already started. It also leaves him free to insist upon reinstatement at the Royal Conservatoire where he is presently a teacher, although suspended by the conservatoire itself for the time being. The idea of vulnerable students, some with no great command of English, being placed with a man mentally unfit for trial” must be abhorrent to piano staff. 
 

It is at the least inappropriate that, at a time when the police struggle to place proper concern regarding harassment and the long-term psychological effects of stalking and harassment upon victims before courts (a ground-breaking initiative by Scottish Police), that the psychiatric profession remain in a position to sideline such efforts without appeal. 

After seventeen years of disruptive, spiteful, bizarre and sexually offensive behaviour, I am left with continuance of established harassment without even the intervention of a medical order as the reasonable decision of health professionals. Medically unfit to stand trial yet not being required to accept treatment makes an ill match. Something is badly out of step, and badly outwith the reach of justice. I have heard the Lord Advocate intends to look into cases of stalking and internet abuse, especially with regard to so-called “revenge porn”, in future. I hope so. 

 

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