THE Treasury and Banking Finance Manager of Edinburgh City Council faces having a tag strapped to his ankle after being convicted of stalking a senior council social work manager and inquiring about buying a house in her street.

Ronnie Hunter, 56, a member of Chartered Institute of Bankers in Scotland, could also be served with a non-harassment order and sentenced to unpaid work after loitering "almost daily" near Annabelle Cameron's home in Bridge of Allan, Stirlingshire.

Ms Cameron, a social services planning and commissioning officer for Clackmannshire Council, had dated Hunter for almost three years - with breaks - before ending their relationship in 2017.

But a court heard Hunter "wouldn't accept it was over".

He began driving from his home in Glasgow's Garnethill to Bridge of Allan and parking "almost daily" in Ms Cameron's street - ignoring the "generous" and more convenient free station car park - and getting a train to his Edinburgh office.

Questioned by police, Hunter explained he was thinking about buying a house in her road.

The exact house, for which he obtained estate agents' details and a home survey report - and was "almost on the point of exchanging missives" - was not identified, but homes in Inverallan Drive have recently sold for over £300,000.

Hunter looked at one property in the street only 300 yards from Mrs Cameron's.

A veteran international athlete who has run for Scotland and Great Britain, Hunter also began training and coaching with a group based at nearby Stirling University.

Ms Cameron, 57, told Stirling Sheriff Court that Hunter had "frightened the life out of her" and made her get counselling.

Shee said: "We were over, we were finished, I didn't understand why he was still wandering round the streets and hanging about. He was always there in my face, somewhere near my house."

Ms Cameron said before they split up, Hunter used to drive from Glasgow to Edinburgh and park in the South Gyle to take public transport into Edinburgh.

But after their relationship ended, he changed his routine, parking in Bridge of Allan and getting the train from there "almost every day".

She said: "Sometimes he walked past the house four times, coming from the train station and walking round in a huge circle to get back to his car. His car was there so often it was like another house being built in the street. I was living on my nerves, falling apart. He just wouldn't go away.

"It got to the stage that I dreaded coming home because I knew his car was going to be there."

Another female resident in the area - who had no idea of Hunter's links to Ms Cameron - became so concerned about his constant presence that after a couple of months she began to keep a log of his visits, which she handed police.

Ms Cameron said Hunter would loiter, often carrying a clipboard or talking into a phone held to his ear, stare at her, and repeatedly followed her and her new partner when they went out.

She said:"He made me paranoid. He's got no decency, and no respect for himself either."

Hunter, of Buccleuch Street, Garnethill, denied stalking, but elected not to give evidence.

His solicitor, Stephen Maguire, said Hunter had hoped to set up home in Bridge of Allan with a new partner in the street where Ms Cameron stayed.

He said: "He was very close to completing the purchase of a property in Inverallan Drive. He proceeded to the stage almost of missives having been agreed."

He said there was "nothing illegal" in that.

He said Hunter had decided to drive to Bridge of Allan instead of Edinburgh because he had found the daily commute down the M8 "too stressful", adding that it was also convenient for Hunter - who is an old boy of top private school Morrisons Academy, Crieff - to visit his mother, who still lives in Perthshire.

After a two-day summary trial, Sheriff Simon Collins found Hunter guilty of stalking Ms Cameron between April and November last year.

He said: "There's a picture from several witnesses of the accused being present in the complainer's street frequently, repeatedly, and persistently, over a period of months following the end of the relationship.

"For six months he was parking his car almost every day in her street, in a small part of a town he doesn't live in and doesn't work in.

"He knew or ought to have known in all the circumstances that engaging in such a course of conduct would cause her fear and alarm."

Hunter's new partner, named in court only as Adrienne, broke into sobs on the public benches where the verdict was announced. Hunter looked annoyed, and shuffled notes he had made continuously during the trial.

Sentence was deferred until June 5 for background reports, including a Restriction of Liberty (tagging) Order Assessment, and for consideration of the Crown's application for a non-harassment order. Hunter was bailed.

He has worked for Edinburgh City Council for over 11 years after leaving the National Australia Bank.

He notes his voluntary interests on LinkedIn as "Media Team Leader -World Athletics Championships; Track & Field Support -Commonwealth Games" adding that he uses "in-depth knowledge of track and field events at major athletics championship world /Commonwealth and Olympic games) to work with teams to ensure the effective running of events and to coordinate the media management of such events".

Last year he won the Silver Jubilee Trophy for the best age-graded performance by a male Scottish Veteran Harriers member at the Scottish Masters Outdoor Championships with a time of 12.57 seconds in the 100 metres.