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by Louise Wilson
30 July 2021
Man sentenced for sending threatening messages to Joanna Cherry

PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo

Man sentenced for sending threatening messages to Joanna Cherry

The man who sent threating Twitter messages to SNP MP Joanna Cherry has avoided a custodial sentence.

Grant Karte, 30, has instead been given a community payment order and banned from contacting Cherry for five years.

He sent the messages on 1 February following the MP’s removal from the SNP frontbench at Westminster.

These include threats of violence, including sexual violence, in contravention of the Communications Act 2003.

Karte’s community payback order includes 160 hours of unpaid work and he will be supervised for 15 months.

Sentencing Karte, Sheriff Alistair Noble said: “You pled guilty to a serious charge, a charge involving threatening a member of parliament.

“Your threat carried implications of violence and one interpretation of what was said was sexual violence.”

Karte was warned that if he breached either the community payback order or the non-harassment order, he will have to return to court.

Responding to the sentencing on Twitter, Cherry said she was disappointed not to have received support from the party leadership. 

She tweeted: "I am very disappointed that no one in the SNP hierarchy has acknowledged or condemned Grant Karte’s threats towards me despite his criminal conviction.

"His name was removed from the roll of party members after his offence was publicised, so I can only assume that his behaviour has been recognised as reprehensible, yet no one has said so publicly on behalf of the SNP and I have not received the same support as other women who have suffered abuse, often a good deal less serious and falling short of criminality."

She added: "It is not too late for the SNP to tackle the harassment and abuse directed at me and other women within the party. I hope that they will now take steps to do so and, in future, I would expect that I and any other women abused in this way will receive the same support from the leadership and party HQ as has been afforded to other party members."

 

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