Glasgow & West Scotland

Former UKIP chairman Arthur 'Misty' Thackeray admits sexual calls

Arthur Misty Thackeray Image copyright Spindrift

The former chairman of UKIP in Scotland has admitted making vulgar phone calls to 10 different women.

Arthur 'Misty' Thackeray, who was chief of staff for the party's MEP David Coburn, appeared at Glasgow Sheriff Court.

He pleaded guilty to offences which occurred between October 2007 and December 2015.

Sheriff Martin Jones QC deferred sentence until next month and continued bail.

The court heard all of the calls took place at Thackeray's home in Glasgow, at 1 Colme Street in Edinburgh and "elsewhere".

Thackeray admitted nine charges of intentionally sending, or directing "sexual verbal communication" between December 2010 an December 2015.

One charge pre-dates the Sexual Offences Act introduced in 2009 and was a breach of the peace charge between October 2007 and February 2008.

Home searched

Police linked him to the calls when they discovered he had also called for a taxi from the same phone as he had used to speak to one of his victims.

The court heard none of the women, whose ages ranged from 25 to 66, knew Thackeray or how he obtained their numbers. But it is believed he contacted some after seeing posters advertising slimming classes.

Several women said it appeared from noises in the background Thackerary was watching pornographic material while he was talking to them.

The matter was first reported to the police in September 2013.

Procurator fiscal depute Mark Allan said: "Whilst the police investigated there was insufficient evidence at that time.

"This was until December 2015 when another woman contacted the police and reported the calls being made to her."

Although the calls were made from a withheld number, the woman's phone service provider was able to help trace the number registered to Thackeray.

His home was searched and phones recovered and analysed. It was found Thackeray had made a call to Central taxis in Edinburgh on 18 December 2015.

Mr Allan added: "Between 10 and 11pm there was a call, the accused's voice identified, made to the taxi company using his nickname Misty.

"He arranged for a taxi to take him from the office where he worked in Edinburgh where he was the chief of staff for an MEP, to take him to Haymarket Station."

The women involved described being "disgusted" and one said she also felt "violated and alarmed".

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