A pair of bigots brought to court for targeting First Minister Humza Yousaf with racist abuse have been sentenced.
Carl O’Brien and Tracie Currie were told politicians had to be protected from the type of ranting abuse to which they subjected SNP party workers.
The duo filmed themselves storming into a Dundee SNP constituency office to hurl abuse about migrants and the first minister.
They were told the rant was the type of behaviour which could lead to “anarchy” if it went unchecked by the court.
Sheriff Alistair Carmichael told them: “You have committed serious offences and for both of you they are in the custodial zone.”
Phone rants at politicians
O’Brien, 26, and Currie, 36, made more than a dozen abusive phone calls to political staff and left MP Stewart Hosie distressed after confronting him with a rant about “a majority white nation.”
They said they backed Putin’s war on Ukraine and targeted innocent restaurant customers with racist abuse before clashing violently with police as they were being arrested.
Currie and O’Brien pled guilty to targeting Mr Yousaf with racist abuse in Dundee.
O’Brien admitted repeatedly phoning the Dundee SNP parliamentary office to make offensive remarks.
The incidents came the day after nominations closed for the contest to succeed Nicola Sturgeon as first minister, won by Broughty Ferry-based health secretary Mr Yousaf.
Fiscal depute Lee Corr told the court previously O’Brien began phoning the office of Dundee East MP Stewart Hosie at 12.14 on February 24.
Party communications officer Dexter Turriff-Davies answered and O’Brien “immediately began shouting, swearing and making racist comments regarding MSP Humza Yousaf.”
He said, referencing Mr Yousaf: “How can you let a man like that run the country?” and “This is a white country.”
In a second call, with the same racist tone, he identified himself by name.
In all, Mr Turriff-Dexter received 11 further such calls, which made him feel “uncomfortable and disgusted.”
Further calls and office visit
At 12.33 a staff member at the Parliamentary Office of MSP, and now deputy first minister of Scotland, Shona Robison, had answered a phone call from O’Brien.
Mr Corr said: “The male on the other end of the phone said he wanted to speak about Humza Yousaf being racist, before aggressively stating there is an attack on the white race.
“The accused repeated his comments a few times before the witness ended the call.
“The same number made two further calls to the office but she ignored them due to his behaviour when they first spoke.”
Mr Corr said both O’Brien and Currie arrived at Mr Hosie’s office at 12.50pm and began shouting and swearing at the MP.
O’Brien told the MP: “Stop these migrants coming over here in boats, it’s a majority white nation.”
Mr Corr said Mr Turriff-Davies identified O’Brien – who had thought Mr Hosie was fellow SNP MP Chris Law – as the earlier caller.
The prosecutor said: “Currie didn’t say anything but appeared to be filming what was happening.
“Witness Hosie de-escalated the incident and both accused left the area.
“He was left feeling anxious as a result of the interaction with both accused.”
‘MPs and MSPs have to be protected’
Dundee Sheriff Court heard on Thursday O’Brien is “lucky to be alive” after falling 39 feet from a balcony during a holiday in Portugal last month.
Sheriff Carmichael placed him on a restriction of liberty order for six months.
He said: “Your actions in conveying your political views in an aggressive manner were unacceptable, unworthy and selfish.
“MPs and MSPs are democratically elected representatives of the people.
“You may or may not like them and you may or may not like their politics.
“You have to express your views in a civilised manner and not in an aggressive in-your-face ranting, as you have done, as that way lies anarchy.
“MPs and MSPs have to be protected.
“They have an important role to play in our lives and must be able to do so without intimidation as you did in the office.”
O’Brien was ordered to stay indoors between 7pm and 7am.
Currie was placed on 18 months supervision and told to carry out 180 hours unpaid community work.
Lawyers for both accused said they expressed remorse for their conduct and both had been going through a difficult period in their lives.
City centre abuse
The pair had caused further trouble in Seagate at 3.30 the morning after their phone rants when their taxi was stopped by police, who had initially wanted to speak to the driver.
As Currie filmed on her phone, O’Brien began ranting: “F**k Ukraine. I stand by Russia. I stand by President Putin.
“Illegal immigrants are coming over here and raping our white women.”
They then turned their attention to a pair of cousins leaving a nearby takeaway.
O’Brien shouted: “F**k the Quran. F**k Islam.”
Currie shouted: “You black b******s.”
The pair were distressed by the abuse and the police, still present, arrested Currie and O’Brien.
At police HQ in Dundee, O’Brien freely admitted he had been at the SNP office earlier in the day.
Mr Corr said: “He openly stated he had told them his concerns regarding ‘new world order’ and his concerns about illegal immigrants.
“He stated he was told to go away and was ignored by the SNP.”
Currie continued to make made violent threats and racist remarks.