Fife hostel support worker became stalking victim


A homeless drug addict became obsessed with a support worker and put an “engagement ring” through her front door. 

Stalker Michael Prain then turned up at the shocked woman’s home later that day to see how impressed she had been with the £29 ring. 

However, when the woman shouted, “It’s the psycho from the hostel”, Prain ran away and was left “heartbroken” his solicitor claimed. 

Prain (33), a prisoner at Perth, appeared at Dunfermline Sheriff Court. He had been living at Dunfermline’s James Bank Hostel for homeless people where the woman worked as a support worker. 

He admitted that on various occasions between 1st August and 14th September at the hostel and at the woman’s home in Dunfermline, he engaged in a course of conduct which caused the woman fear or alarm. 

He loitered around outside her place of work when she was due to leave and watched her, repeatedly attended her home address uninvited and posted a ring through her letterbox. 

Depute fiscal Alex Kirk told the court the victim worked as a support worker at the hostel. 

She became concerned about messages being sent to her by Prain and told her partner about this. 

She told Prain to stop texting her and said it made her feel uncomfortable. She also asked her boyfriend to pick her up from work when she was on backshift. 

As the woman’s spell working at the hostel was coming to an end, one morning she found a ring, described as “costume jewellery”, had been placed through her door. 

“That evening there was a knock on the couple’s door. It was the accused and he appeared to be under the influence of some substance,” said the depute. 

“She was shocked and scared. She asked him how he knew where she lived. She asked, ‘Why would I want a ring?’ He then ran away.” 

Defence solicitor Scott McKenzie said, “He did have a fondness for the complainer and thought it might have been reciprocated.” 

However, his client soon found out what the woman thought of him when he went to her door. 

“She shouted to her partner, ‘That’s the psycho from the hostel’,” said the solicitor. 

“He was heartbroken. He had bought the ring for £29 from Ernest Brown. It was a tree of life ring. She made her feelings very clear to him and he was very upset. 

“He had previously tried to give her the ring in person but couldn’t pluck up the courage.” 

Prain said from the dock, “All I did was buy her an engagement ring. There was no malice.” 

Sheriff David Mackie called for reports and Prain was remanded in custody until sentencing until 18th April.


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