An Alba Party candidate menaced his ex-wife by making baseless claims her new husband was a paedophile and saying he would ask his “friends” at Perth Prison about him.
Mark Shields told his former partner her man was “probably a nonce” as he sent a string of abusive emails.
The 53-year-old, who stood for Alex Salmond’s pro-independence party in 2022 and 2023, appeared at Perth Sheriff Court and admitted causing fear or alarm by behaving in a threatening or alarming way at a property in the city.
He pled guilty to a domestically-aggravated charge of repeatedly contacting his ex and making offensive remarks.
Shields, from Townhead, Glasgow, was banned from contacting his ex-wife for a year.
Prosecutor Elizabeth Hodgson said Shields and his wife were together for about 10 years, and married for three-and-a-half.
They separated in early 2022.
“At about 5pm on August 9 last year, the accused began sending emails to his former partner in relation to her current husband.
“He sent a total of nine emails.
“They contained unsubstantiated claims that her new husband was a paedophile.”
Shields told his ex: “I have friends currently in HMP Perth.
“I will introduce his name into the next conversation I have with either of them and see if he’s known about in the area.”
Ms Hodgson said: “The accused stated that her husband was ‘probably a nonce’ and made reference to the fact he tried to call him 44 times.”
The court heard he further referred to the man as a “scummy rat”.
There was no contact between Shields and his former partner since the emails were sent, the fiscal depute confirmed.
The woman then reported the matter to police on October 19 – around the time Shields was campaigning for the Motherwell South East and Ravenscraig by-election.
He was arrested last month after being quizzed by officers at Coatbridge police station.
No prison friends
The court heard Shields had sent the messages after a family dispute.
His solicitor John McLaughlin said: “He doesn’t known anyone at Perth Prison.
“He’s never been in trouble in his life before.
“Mr Shields realises that these were stupid comments to make.
“Until today, he has been a man of good character. There is a whole background to this.”
Sheriff Jennifer Bain KC told Shields: “This behaviour was very unfortunate.
“I do hope it was a one-off and to make sure that it was, I will defer sentence for six months for you to show you can be of good behaviour.”
He was banned from seeing his ex-partner as part of a year-long non-harassment order.
Shields stood as a candidate for the Alba Party in North Lanarkshire Council‘s Coatbridge North seat in 2022 amassing 163 votes, less than 2% of the vote.
The following year, he fought in the Motherwell South East and Ravenscraig by-election and got 66 votes.