A FOOTBALL fan who carried out stalking offences against a mother and daughter after seeing them in the stands at a match has been admonished after he stayed out of trouble for 12 months.

Stefan Taylor, 34, spotted the two women while he was watching Heart of Midlothian FC at Tynecastle Park in Edinburgh in September 2021.

Taylor was attracted to the younger woman and proceeded to follow both women for an “extended period” in a bid to find out more about them, a court heard.

Taylor, of George Crescent, Ormiston, was subsequently seen by the victims as he followed them in his car near to their Edinburgh home in March last year.

He was arrested and charged and appeared at the capital’s sheriff court last May where he pleaded guilty to engaging in a course of conduct that caused both women fear and alarm and did follow them between September 1, 2021 and March 31 last year.

Sheriff Alistair Noble issued Taylor with a non-harassment order banning him from having any contact with the mother and daughter for five years and said the women had “expressed great alarm” by his behaviour.

At the time, Sheriff Noble said: “You have pled guilty to two stalking offences involving a mother and daughter.

“It appears you first saw the mother and daughter at a football match where you were seated nearby.

“As you explained matters to a social worker that you were attracted to the daughter but before approaching her you started following them to find out a bit more about them before you could hopefully engage with the daughter.

“That obviously didn’t happen, but what did happen was you followed them for an extended period.”

The court heard Taylor followed the two females in a vehicle and they were forced to “change direction” several times as they were aware they were being followed in March this year.

Defence lawyer Matthew Nicholson told the court his client felt “deep embarrassment and shame at his behaviour” and had been suffering from poor mental health at the time.

He added Taylor had found the court process to be “extremely distressing” and had “no issues” with a non-harassment order being imposed.

Sentence was deferred for Taylor to be of good behaviour and he returned to the dock at the city centre court last Monday.

Sheriff Noble acknowledged that “both matters were concerning” but said due to Taylor being of good behaviour and adhering to the two non-harassment orders he was content to admonish him on the two charges.

Taylor admitted to engaging in a course of conduct which caused two women fear and alarm by following them on occasions at Tynecastle Park, Edinburgh, and elsewhere, between September 1, 2021 and March 31 last year.