Former Arsenal player Anthony Stokes has been ordered to complete an anti-domestic abuse course after harassing his ex girlfriend.
The striker, 32, has been now been put on the ‘Caledonian Programme’ after he admitted targeting Eilidh Scott.
Stokes, of Glasgow, was back in the dock after previously being ordered to be of good behaviour for eight months.
The case at Hamilton Sheriff Court had been last May but had been hit by a string of delays because of the pandemic.
Sheriff Alasdair MacFadyen has now placed Stokes – best know for his career with Celtic – under supervision for two years which requires him to take part in the course.
But he warned him failure to complete the programme could see him put behind bars.
Former Arsenal footballer Anthony Stokes, pictured, had admitted stalking his ex girlfriend
When asked directly by the sheriff if he would comply with the order, Stokes replied: ‘Yes.’
Michael Gallen, defending, said: ‘He is suitable for the Caledonian Programme and if that is what is in mind then he will agree to it.
‘He has followed the non-harassment order and there have been no convictions between the date of deferral back in September 2019 to now.
‘Having ordered him to be of good behaviour since I submit an order for supervision and the programme requirement may be sufficient to deal with this matter.’
Ex-Celtic star Anthony Stokes was banned from contacting ex Eilidh Scott for four years
Sheriff MacFadyen said: ‘The most recent report in this case indicates there is still work for you to do to address your offending behaviour and what it was that led you to behave that way towards your former partner.
The footballer labelled his girlfriend a ‘s**t’, a ‘s**g’ and a ‘w***e’ and turned up at her home in Shotts, Lanarkshire, late at night
‘I have in mind to place you, as a direct alternative to custody with this being a serious charge, on a community payback order for two years.
‘You will be under supervision of the social work department and there is a requirement that you attend the Caledonian Programme which is designed for men guilty of this sort of offending.
‘Failure to comply with the order will be reported back to the court and if it amounts to a breach then all sentencing options will be open to the court up to and including custody.’
There has been a long-running legal battle between the player and his ex.
A case was first heard back in 2019 and was told he had bombarded Ms Scott with a string of abusive messages that saw him send up to 100 texts a day.
In them he called her a ‘s**t’, a ‘s**g’ and a ‘w***e’ and at one point turned up at her home in Shotts, Lanarkshire, late at night.
It dated back to a period between July 2018 and February 2019 and saw him make excessive efforts to reach her.
At the time depute fiscal Lynn McFauld said: ‘Contact was made using six different mobile phones all attributable to the UK and one which was an international number.
Eilidh Scott used to be Stokes’ girlfriend and was harassed by him with the onslaught of texts
‘In July she attended at a friend’s house for a girls’ night in and received numerous calls, texts, WhatsApp and Facetime messages from the accused but declined to answer them.
‘She was becoming extremely uncomfortable and agitated by this and eventually accepted a Facetime message hoping that if she spoke to him he would desist and let her enjoy her night.
‘He immediately demanded to know where she was and who she was with and was clearly angry and agitated.’
The court heard Stokes arrived at her mother’s home later the same evening and confronted Miss Scott when she arrived home.
Her mother called her to say he was banging on the door, shouting through the letter box and sitting outside facing the family home.
Miss McFauld added: ‘At 1am the complainer’s friend’s boyfriend arrived back in order to take her home.
‘She advised him to drive her to her front door so she could get in and then she and her mother locked and secured the door.
‘The friend reversed out and observed a door of a vehicle opening which caused him to stop and the accused got out and asked ‘What is that all about?’.
‘He started walking towards the vehicle and rattled the window with his fist before demanding to know where the complainer had been and why she was being dropped off.
‘The witness was scared as to what might happen next and drove off but as he did the accused kicked the vehicle.
‘This was observed by the complainer who said her stomach was churning as he approached the house before calling her a s**g, a s**t, a w***e and demanded she open the door.
‘She later sent a message saying ‘you are stalking me, leave me alone’ and later received an email from the accused saying ‘sorry for my reaction tonight, I just love you too much and snapped tonight’.’
Michael Gallen, defending, said: ‘He was working abroad and that may have contributed to him being isolated and the complainer being alone with a young child which put the relationship under strain.
Stokes won seven trophies in six seasons at Celtic and netted twice in Hibs’ 3-2 Scottish Cup win over Rangers in 2016
Sheriff Alasdair MacFadyen had deferred sentence until September 2019 for reports and continued bail, but this was delayed and then the pandemic hit.
Sheriff MacFayden said at the time: ‘You engaged in a course of conduct that caused fear and alarm to your former partner and her mother.
‘It is not a case of an isolated incident but a course of conduct and I’m told that you and the woman have reconciled but have also been told it is on-off.
‘I want to have some enquiries made to see if there could be some intervention put in place to stop you behaving this way again to the complainer or to anyone else.’
Stokes won seven trophies in six seasons at Celtic and netted twice in Hibs’ 3-2 Scottish Cup win over Rangers in 2016.