A TEACHER has ended up with a criminal record after he bombarded his lover with abusive messages and followed her.

Michael Muir sent the abusive texts to Fiona Williamson, with whom he had a "toxic" relationship.

Glasgow Sheriff Court heard how 35-year-old Muir also followed Miss Williamson to her home, as well as a friend's house.

He was found guilty after trial of a single charge which states that he "persistently contacted Miss Williamson and sent her messages of an abusive nature."

The incidents took place at Rouken Glen Park, in Giffnock, and various locations in Glasgow between June 2019 and July 2020.

First offender Muir, of Paisley, was ordered to do 150 hours of unpaid work by Sheriff Mark McGuire.

Rhona Lynch, representing Muir, had tried to have the matter dealt with by an absolute discharge.

She told the court: "The circumstances of the offence in this case is an exception to the character of Mr Muir.

"As you learned about, this was a toxic relationship.

"He was a man with a previous unblemished character and you can recall evidence of the messages that she sent to him.

"Significant messages were sent by both parties and the victim in her evidence admitted that she did not cover herself in glory.

"Mr Muir did not realise the impact of the toxic relationship until he was out of it.

"He was going through a process of dealing with the human emotions of leaving a relationship."

Miss Lynch also provided a testimonial from a headteacher which stated that Muir's skills as a teacher are of "exceptional quality" and he had "excellent rapport" with his students.

It was also stated that Muir ran a football team and ICT classes during lunchtime at school.

Miss Lynch added: "He is described as an asset for any school in Renfrewshire and his conduct could not be further away from the person described in the charge."

However, Sheriff McGuire refused the request for an absolute discharge.

He told Muir: "You have been convicted of domestic abuse and you require to be sentenced for that matter.

"This was not a one-off matter and, yes, there was context to your offending but you did behave in that manner.

"You sent abusive messages and kept persistent contact and followed her. I deem such conduct as criminal."

A five-year non-harassment order was also granted to restrict Muir's contact with Miss Williamson.

This article reports on Michael Muir's conviction for an offence under Section 1 of the Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act 2018. Mr Muir has told us that elements of the original charge – specifically those which stated that Mr Muir pushed his victim, threw keys at her, removed her from a bed and threatened her with violence – were deleted before he was found guilty. This has been published following an upheld ruling by the Independent Press Standards Organisation.