NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Shetland pensioner fined over letters to MP Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh

Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh

A Shetland pensioner who sent "vile and gratuitously offensive" letters to MP Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh about her faith has been fined £500.

David Crozier, 68, was ordered not to contact the SNP Ochil and South Perthshire politician for five years.

He previously admitted sending messages containing offensive and abusive comments aggravated by religious prejudice.

Crozier, of Mossbank, was sentenced at Lerwick Sheriff Court.

Procurator fiscal Duncan Mackenzie told the court the only reason Crozier corresponded with the MP, a practising Muslim, in May last year was her faith.

The anonymous letters were passed onto police, who contacted the office of local MP Alistair Carmichael to see if they had received any correspondence from the man.

'Let off steam'

The Liberal Democrat's team recognised the handwriting, which led police to "serial corresponder" Crozier.

Crozier initially told police that he was "expressing an opinion and exercising his right to freedom of speech" in the letters.

The fiscal added that the MP was left fearful for her safety while attending public events after receiving the letters.

Defence agent Tommy Allan said Crozier took to letter-writing to "let off steam" as he could not send emails or speak to friends in the pub.

Sheriff John Rafferty said that while Crozier had a right to express his opinions to politicians, his letters to Ahmed-Sheikh were "vile and gratuitously offensive" and had caused "considerable upset".

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