TERROR STALKER DODGES PRISON; Outrage as he walks.
Jilted Ian Lynagh, 26, waged a 21-month campaign of terror against Karen Irvine after she ended their brief fling.
Yesterday he appeared in court for the third time in 12 months.
But Sheriff Pamela Bowman deferred sentence for six months and released Lynagh on bail at Stirling Sheriff Court.
The decision not to lock him up sparked fury among women's groups.
A spokeswoman for Women's Aid said: "At his last appearance, the sheriff said he would be jailed.
"I am sure the young woman turned up today believing her tormentor would be jailed."
"Jailing him would give her some sense of security."
Karen, 21, of Banknock, near Falkirk, left the court visibly upset and shaken.
She met Lynagh at a nightclub in Falkirk in September 1995 but dumped him six weeks later for being "overly possessive".
Then in January 1997, he began stalking her after finding out where she lived and worked.
Before yesterday's hearing, Karen said: "He robbed me of my freedom. I had to change my job, my address and my whole lifestyle completely.
"This man has a serious problem.
"He used to lie in wait for me outside my work and my house.
"He used to follow me back and forth. Wherever I was on the street, he always happened to be there too."
Lynagh admitted a breach of the peace by going into the shop where Karen worked, staring and pointing at her, then hissing: "I'll get you."
Sheriff Bowman was told that previous fines had failed to protect Karen from her obsessive ex- boyfriend.
But she deferred sentence rather than making an order under the 1997 Protection from Harassment Act.
Lynagh, of Allan Park, Stirling, is banned from contacting Karen and from going into the Thistle Centre, Stirling, where she works.
He must also live with his mother in Polmont, near Falkirk.
The sheriff told him: "If you fail to comply with any of these conditions or if you commit another offence, you'll find yourself back in this court."
In August this year, Lynagh was fined pounds 1,000 at the same court for a similar offence involving the same girl in April.
Lynagh's solicitor Sam Milligan told the court his client would comply with the bail conditions, adding: "He has no intention of ever approaching this young lady again."
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|Publication:||The Mirror (London, England)|
|Date:||Nov 14, 1998|
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