A FOOTBALL coach has been found guilty of threatening to publish intimate images of a female member of Ayr United’s staff after he was kicked out of the club for his behaviour.

Cameron Robertson, previously manager of the club’s women’s team, denied a charge of stalking the woman between January 2018 and May 2022.

He was eventually found guilty, not of stalking but of threatening behaviour towards the woman over a four-month period in 2022.

A trial at Ayr Sheriff Court heard the woman politely asked Robertson, 61, not to send her messages that weren’t about club business before telling him to stop contacting her altogether.

In evidence she said Robertson’s constant contact first made her feel “awkward” and “uncomfortable” before his threatening behaviour made her “fear for her life”.

Robertson, of Inverkar Road, Ayr, had been accused of staring at the woman, following her and later threatening via emails and social media messages to reveal messages and photographs of her.

The woman told the trial that at first it was a “fine, friendly” relationship, before “some inappropriate text messages” were exchanged, including a picture within text messages.

She said: “It became overbearing. It was messages morning to night, starting at 5.50am then past midnight.

“He would not take the hint. Seeing the name on the phone caused me anxiety.”

After complaints were raised with the club, the court heard Robertson then posted a series of social media comments and later emailed the club threatening to disclose private pictures.

She said: "He sent an email threatening to publish and expose pictures if they didn't get rid of me

"I felt sick to my stomach. I think I actually nearly passed out. The room was spinning.

"It was a very difficult time in my life. I don't use fear for my life lightly. I could barely sleep and had cameras installed.”

The woman told Robertson’s solicitor, Derek Pettigrew, that “it wasn’t annoyance, it felt like harassment”.

A female witness told the court she had often been present during Robertson’s “constant” messaging, adding: “I could see she was uncomfortable.”

Giving evidence in his defence, Robertson admitted his behaviour was “regrettable”.

He said: "I'm ashamed. I hold my hands up to that. They were just empty threats. I wouldn't have done that."

Asked about the allegation of staring at the woman he said: “The messages were fluid and all involved in what we were doing.

“I did think we were good friends and bouncing off each other."

During the trial, the procurator fiscal depute amended the charge to beginning in 2022, to remove 'follow' her replacing with "make comments about her on social media and to others".  

Sheriff Mhairi MacTaggart said: "There was a significant number of messages exchanged, and it did at first seem more conversational than anything else. On the face of it she was a willing participant.

"However, there came a point where a line was drawn and the conduct became criminal in nature.”

Sheriff MacTaggart found Robertson guilty of engaging in a course of conduct that caused the victim fear and alarm between January 1 and May 1, 2022. 

The sheriff added: "I'm not sure the context I have to put this in makes this any less serious for you. You were in a position where you had some degree of control and should not have conducted yourself in that manner.

"That final email is what makes this very serious for you. Don't be in any doubt about that."

Sentencing was deferred for reports and consideration of a non-harassment order and Robertson will return to court at a later date.

He was released on bail with a special condition banning him from approaching or contacting the woman.