Stalker, 36, who harassed her Tinder date, 30, did it for revenge

Stalker, 36, who harassed her Tinder date, 30, by donning prosthetic baby bump and faking pregnancy for months did it for revenge when he dumped her after one-night stand

  • Jaclyn McGowan, 36, from Perth and Kincross, kept up pretence for nine months
  • She told police she had miscarriage a week after taking positive pregnancy test
  • Her solicitor said she was angry about way one-night stand had abruptly ended
  • At Perth Sheriff Court, McGowan sentenced to 150 hours of community service

A stalker who harassed her Tinder date by donning a prosthetic baby bump and faking a pregnancy for months did it for revenge when he dumped her after a one-night stand. 

Jaclyn McGowan, 36, from Perth and Kinross, Scotland, kept up the pretence for nine months as she tried to dupe Jamie Aitken and his family into believing she was carrying his child.

McGowan told police that after their one-night stand she had taken a pregnancy test, showing her to be pregnant. She had a miscarriage a week later but did not inform Mr Aitken.

At Perth Sheriff Court, McGowan’s solicitor said she had been angry about the way the brief one-night relationship in June 2019 had been abruptly ended.

McGowan pleaded guilty to causing fear and alarm by stalking over nine months and was today sentenced to 150 hours of community service.

Jaclyn McGowan (above), 36, from Perth and Kinross, Scotland, kept up the pretence for nine months as she tried to dupe Jamie Aitken and his family into believing she was pregnant

The court was told that she had garnered pity from Mr Aitken’s parents and had partially turned them against their son as a result of the elaborate scheme.

McGowan was almost rumbled when she was spotted looking ‘slim and not visibly pregnant’ at the trampoline park where Mr Aitken’s brother Corrie worked. She should have been eight months pregnant at the time.

To try and cover her tracks, she purchased a prosthetic baby bump, called to ask the park if it was suitable for pregnant women, and turned up looking ‘heavily pregnant’ a few days later.

Sheriff Lindsay Foulis said the unusual offence was considered to be at the lower end of what could be described as stalking as she ordered her to carry out 150 hours unpaid work in the community.

Fiscal depute Tina Dickie said: ‘Jamie Aitken said the messages and whole situation were causing disruption to him and his family and he stated he felt like she was turning his family against him.

‘The mother states that she and her husband had spoken about the situation and they were concerned at first but began to feel excited at the prospect of having a grandchild and were embracing the whole situation.

‘His mother soon realised the accused had an intense dislike for Jamie although she came across as quite nice and polite to her.’

Mrs Aitken told police: ‘She was so convincing I believed her that Jamie was not being supportive and ended up feeling very sorry for her and angry at Jamie.’

Mrs Dickie told the court McGowan and Mr Aitken spent a single drunken night in a hotel after meeting on Tinder and exchanging messages for a few weeks.

She said: ‘After this event the accused and Mr Aitken continued to message for several days. The accused asked Mr Aitken to meet up again. However, he declined.’  

The court heard how McGowan repeatedly approached members of his family to discuss her ‘baby’ and turned up at his brother’s workplace appearing to be heavily pregnant.

The court was told that McGowan had purchased a fake baby bump which she was wearing under her clothing at the time. 

McGowan told police that after their one-night stand she had taken a positive pregnancy test. She had a miscarriage a week later but did not inform Mr Aitken (pictured above)

McGowan’s deception was so detailed that she had even given the non-existent baby a name and was discussing due dates with various people.

She said her actions were to hurt Mr Aitken for the way he had acted when the relationship ended. 

Solicitor Mike Tavendale, defending, told the court: ‘It was a one night stand and was quite obviously an unsatisfactory one.

‘Jamie Aitken was extremely drunk and it was immediately regretted by my client and that was simply reinforced in the days following, particularly when she found out she was pregnant.

‘Mr Aitken made it abundantly clear to her he did not want a child and wanted nothing to do with it. From that point matters go downhill.

‘She then has a miscarriage but maintains the pretence and from there on she gets caught up in the lie. It gets to the point where it is very difficult to go back.’

The fake pregnancy was eventually exposed after the due date of March 20 last year came and went with no birth. McGowan was later interviewed by police and made a full confession.

‘She did not give a reason for doing this other than that she wanted to hurt Jamie Aitken for how the relationship ended.’

McGowan, above, pleaded guilty to causing fear and alarm by stalking over nine months and was today sentenced to 150 hours of community service

She admitted that between 1 June 2019 and 29 February last year she engaged in a course of conduct which caused fear or alarm to a man and members of his family.

McGowan admitted stalking Mr Aitken by pretending she was pregnant with his child during the bizarre sequence of events.

She sent him a picture of a cot and requested he give her £300 to pay for it, and advised him that she was having miscarriages.

She sent him numerous messages to say he would play no part in her baby’s life and then she contacted his mother Wendy Aitken.

McGowan told Mrs Aitken she was pregnant with her grandchild and sent scan photos and details of fictitious pregnancy-related appointments to her.

McGowan, who had a very brief relationship with Mr Aitken last summer, told his mother her son would not attend pre-natal appointments with her.

She also went on to tell Mrs Aitken that the baby would be her grandson, was going to be called Noah, and was due to be born on 28 March 2020.

She carried on the act by telling Mrs Aitken she would be able to play a part in bringing her ‘grandson’ up after his birth.

McGowan targeted other members of the family and told Corrie Aitken that she was carrying his brother’s unborn child.

She admitted turning up at Corrie’s workplace – Ryze Trampoline Park in Dundee – and telling him that he could ‘play a part in the boy’s life.’

McGowan admitted turning up at the trampoline park ‘whilst wearing a prosthetic baby bump.’ 

The court was told that McGowan – who had worked abroad during part of the period – was likely to lose her job as a result of the conviction.

At Perth Sheriff Court (pictured above), McGowan’s solicitor said she had been angry about the way the brief one-night relationship in June 2019 had been abruptly ended

Mr Aitken said: ‘She was full of stories of how I didn’t want to have anything to do with this ‘baby’. It was all lies.

‘She was sending me abusive messages, refusing to have anything to do with me but telling my family I was trying to get out of my responsibilities.

‘She tried to pit my own family against me. She drew my parents in with her lies. She just concocted this whole world.

‘It went on for months, and I didn’t have a decent night’s sleep throughout because I was so worried and confused about everything.

‘How could one human being do that to another? I don’t even know why she targeted me.’

He added: ‘I wish I’d never met her. I’m embarrassed and upset about it all, and I just want to forget it happened, but I do think it’s important to speak out so she cannot do this again.’

He met McGowan through Tinder in the spring of 2019 and they met for the first time when she came to Dundee to meet him after he had been at a family wedding.

Mr Aitken said: ‘Maybe she’s been scarred by something from her own life, but it still doesn’t explain what she did.’

Sheriff Foulis said: ‘It seems to me that these actions fall on the less serious category but certainly don’t diminish your actions.

‘You pleaded guilty to causing fear and alarm over a period of nine months, so when I say it is on the less serious side, none the less I have to bear that in mind.’

He noted McGowan had not contacted Mr Aitken for nine months before he filed a police report and that the crown was also not seeking a non-harassment order.

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