A CREEP terrified two young women after he followed them around Glasgow whilst staring at them on a number of occasions.

Josef Robinson turned up outside one of the victim’s shared flat as he lingered around and looked up at the windows.

The 38-year-old appeared at Glasgow Sheriff Court after previously pleading guilty to harassment and stalking offences.

On April 11, 2020, the victim and her flatmate were walking along the Clydeside and were approached by a stranger – the accused.

Procurator fiscal depute Paula Wedlock said: “He asked if they were alright. They informed him that they were fine, however, he lingered beside them and began asking them questions. They found his behaviour to be odd and chose not to engage with him. He left after a few minutes.

“A short time later, the witnesses were walking in Glasgow Green when the flatmate became aware of the accused walking a short distance behind them. At this time, they believed that he may be following them so they began to take random turns to establish if he would follow, and he did.

“The witnesses sat on a bench near to other people in the hope that he would walk away and leave them alone. However, he walked slowly past the bench staring directly at them before making his way out of the park.”

A few months later on August 27, 2020, the victim was skateboarding outside Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery when she noticed Robinson stare and approach her. She immediately recognised him.

Ms Wedlock said: “He stood approximately two metres from her and stood staring at her. This lasted for two to three minutes before she left. She felt increasingly uneasy and now believed that he was targeting her.

“On November 27, 2020, the victim was walking on Sauchiehall Street with her friends when she observed the accused opposite her with other people. The accused observed the victim and left the company of the other persons and stopped on the street, near to her.

“The friends, who had been made aware of the previous incidents, made attempts to take a picture of him.”

Robinson approached them angrily before running away. The court heard that the victim became extremely worried at this time due to the frequency of the incidents.

On February 2, 2021, the victim left Tesco Express on Argyle Street when she observed Robinson standing a short distance away. She immediately felt uneasy due to the proximity of her home.

Robinson saw the victim and smiled at her. Due to her fear that he would follow her home and find out where she lived, she remained outside.

She called her friend to come to provide her with support. After a short time, Robinson left, and the victim returned home.

Eight days later, the victim was walking alone in Kelvingrove Park when she again observed Robinson walking close to her and continuously looking at her. This continued for a short distance before he went in a separate direction.

And on February 20, 2021, the victim’s flatmate was walking on Kelvin Way when she observed Robinson. Due to the proximity of her home with the victim, she immediately contacted her to inform her and check she was okay.

Ms Wedlock said: “The flatmate returned home and both of them looked out the window. They observed the accused to be standing directly outside their block, looking up to the windows. For around 30 minutes, they observed him walking up and down the street, continuously stopping to look up at the windows. They thereafter contacted police who obtained photos of the accused.”

Meanwhile, on March 4 this year, a second victim was waiting to cross the road when she observed Robinson walk towards her. She noted him to be looking directly at her and recognised him from a previous incident in January – in which he began walking beside her at Kelvin Way and laughing at her discomfort.

As they crossed paths with each other, Robinson double-backed behind her and began to follow her. She was scared and approached random women in a coffee shop queue to seek support. However, Robinson then joined the end of the queue and continued to stare at her.

The procurator fiscal depute said: “The victim continued to talk to the females and the accused moved across the road beside other males. He lingered behind a van before returning to the queue and crossing the street again. The victim asked the males if they knew the accused and they said he was called Joe. The victim thereafter contacted police and was able to provide images from her mobile phone.”

Police recognised Robinson due to the other incidents with the first victim.

After being released from court in April, Robinson was ordered not to approach or attempt to contact seven different women as part of special bail conditions. He was also ordered not to enter several areas of Glasgow’s West End.

However, in May, the victim from the first incidents was walking on Argyle Street and observed Robinson walking towards her. He made eye contact and began to stare.

The victim was aware he was in breach of his bail conditions and contacted police.

He was traced at his home in Broomhill a few days later. He was cautioned and charged and replied, ‘it’s a misunderstanding, it’s other people’s mental health that’s putting me here’.

Robinson’s lawyer said his client suffers from mental health problems and deals with them by walking.

He added: “He was struggling at the time of the offences. He is a musician and struggles with anxiety. He copes by writing and performing music and walking.

“He was remanded in custody for nearly three weeks. He’s experienced what it’s like to be in jail – it was very unpleasant for him, and he now knows the consequences of offending behaviour.”

Sheriff Patricia Pryce told Robinson: “Walking around is already scary for women and was even scarier during lockdown when it was quieter.

“This is a very concerning course of conduct. You’ve terrified these young women; they were extremely scared. People should feel safe walking around. They should not be followed and stared at.

“The easy option for me would be to send you to prison but you need to understand why you did this and prevent it going forward. That’s why I’m choosing a direct alternative to custody.”

He was ordered to be under social work supervision for two years, carry out 210 hours of unpaid work, and stay within his home from 8pm-7am for eight weeks. The court ordered him not to approach or attempt to contact either of the victims.