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Business editor appeals against stalking conviction

A senior journalist on a flagship Scottish newspaper is challenging a court’s decision after being found guilty of stalking his former girlfriend.

The Scotsman and Scotland on Sunday business editor Terry Murden has lodged an application for an appeal against his conviction for contravening section 39 of the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010.

Murden was fined £500 and given a three-year non-harassment order by Sheriff Donald Corke when he appeared before him for sentencing earlier this month at Edinburgh Sheriff Court.

Last month a court heard that Murden denied causing PR consultant Nicki Sturzaker fear and alarm by going to her flat uninvited, leaving unwanted gifts and notes, contacting her employers and writing about her.

The 57-year-old journalist’s employers – Johnston Press –confirmed after sentencing that an internal inquiry, which began following his conviction, was still “ongoing.”

Defence solicitor Jim Stephenson, who at the trial said Murden had “no idea he was committing an offence”, added the conviction could have serious consequences for his employment.

Murden said the accusation that he had cost Ms Sturzaker, who worked for PR firm the Big Partnership, her job was totally unfounded.