A DREGHORN man claims his life has been ruined after North Ayrshire Council employees accused him of stalking.

John Bell spent three weeks in prison, endured a four day court trial, lost his job, his home and his car after being accused of stalking two former colleagues.

But last week, after hearing four days of evidence a Sheriff dramatically threw out all the stalking charges against John.

John, 44, was found guilty of a much lesser breach of the peace charge after admitting to posting an offensive message about one of the women on his social media page.

In an exclusive interview with the Irvine Times John says he tried to commit suicide twice after feeling “victimised” by NAC staff who made the allegations and those who gave evidence in support of them.

He said: “What I have been put through I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. They said I was stalking them but Sheriff George Jamieson listened to their evidence and just threw the charges out. They all contradicted each other. They said I was harassing them but I’m the one who was victimised here.”

John’s nightmare began when he was employed as a locality manager for North Ayrshire Council and he asked a colleague out. The woman declined and John says he accepted that and moved on.

However shortly afterwards the woman reported John to council bosses claiming he was appearing outside her work, was staring at her and another colleague and sending her messages.

John was suspended and eventually sacked following the allegations and he says as a result his car was repossessed, he has had to move house and has been suspended from university where he was half way through a community development degree.

He said: “I lost everything because of this. People were walking passed me in the street and calling me a creepy stalker. I spent three weeks on remand in prison. It was horrible. I was in tears over it. It really affected me.”

However John decided he was going to fight the allegations and following a four day trial at Kilmarnock Sheriff Court all but one of the charges were dropped.

John said: “I was found guilty of posting a message about one of the women on Facebook, which I admitted to. I know it was wrong to do that but I had been drinking a lot to cope with what was going on and I did something silly. When I woke up the next day I deleted it because I knew it was wrong, but I just felt backed into a corner and like I wasn’t in control of my own life. I shouldn’t have done it.

“My lawyer was telling me to accept a plea deal because I would get a lesser sentence but I knew I had not done what they were accusing me of so I just refused to admit to something I didn’t do.

“I was offered nine deals and I rejected them all because to me, the truth was more important.”

John was fined £100 and ordered to pay the woman £500 compensation for the offensive Facebook post and ordered not to contact her or post about her on social media for three years.

While John accepts he did wrong, he says those who made the allegations against him should be held accountable.

He said: “I sat in a prison cell for three weeks, I’ve been fined and ordered to pay compensation, but nothing has happened to any of them. I want justice for me.”

John says he gave up binge drinking and joined Fit Ayrshire Dads and has been able to find a way to cope with everything.

He said: “I joined Fit Ayrshire Dads and have been able to get my head in a better place through fitness. I think it’s been a lifesaver because I was so down and in a bad place.

“I only hope that by speaking out if someone else is going through something similar they know that there is a way out of it.”

John’s defence lawyer Simon Brown said: “My client was acquitted of all stalking charges and convicted of a much reduced charge.”

A spokesman for North Ayrshire Council said: “We do not comment on current or former employees.”