Po­lice in­ves­ti­gate cat­a­logue of death threats against Stur­geon

Dug­dale and David­son also sub­jected to hor­rific tor­rent of hate and abuse

Sunday Herald - - FRONT PAGE - BY ANDREW WHI­TAKER

PO­LICE are in­ves­ti­gat­ing a cat­a­logue of hor­rific on­line abuse against Ni­cola Stur­geon, in­clud­ing death threats, threats of vi­o­lence and ex­tremely of­fen­sive and sex­u­alised in­sults. Ex­treme threats against the First Min­is­ter are so com­mon that there is even an ac­count on Twit­ter high­light­ing at least 150 tweets fea­tur­ing threats and hate speech directed at Stur­geon.

The ac­count, called @stur­geonabuse, says that it is “high­light­ing the hate, abuse, misog­yny, sex­ism, vi­o­lence and threats the Scot­tish FM is sub­jected to on a daily ba­sis here on Twit­ter”.

A large num­ber of the chill­ing posts came from in­di­vid­u­als us­ing their own names along with pho­tos of them­selves, some­times pic­tured along­side part­ners and images of them so­cial­is­ing with friends or even hold­ing small chil­dren. The Sun­day Her­ald sought to con­tact all those who posted in­sults, a num­ber of whom replied with abu­sive mes­sages directed at the news­pa­per’s jour­nal­ists, while some oth­ers re­fused to dis­cuss their of­fen­sive re­marks.

In their orig­i­nal posts a sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of the on­line trolls said they wanted to vi­o­lently or sex­u­ally as­sault Stur­geon, while there were oth­ers who said that they hoped the First Min­is­ter would die a bru­tal death.

A “Paul Ad­di­son” (@Pad­di­son93), who is pic­tured drink­ing in a bar, posted on June 9, 2016: “I wish that c**t Stur­geon would die, just die”.

Mean­while, a “Micky Watt” (@ mick­y­watt), who ap­pears in a group photo, on June 9, 2016, stated: “A f**king hate Ni­cola Stur­geon, wish some­one would shoot the daft jock b*****d”. An “Ash­ley Wa­ger” (@ ash­wa­ger93) from Birm­ing­ham, who is pic­tured with a woman, tweets, on June 6, 2016 that: “Ni­cola Stur­geon needs a kick up the c**t”.

There is more vi­o­lent in­tent ex­pressed to­wards the First Min­is­ter from a “Steph Drys­dale” (@stephdrys­dale), whose ac­count also fea­tures her pic­ture. She said on April 20, 2015: “If Ni­cola Stur­geon was in front of me I’d kick her f**king head in and prob­a­bly re­ally en­joy my­self do­ing so.”

A tweet from an “RCH” @WoodsyOf­fi­cial, who iden­ti­fied him­self as an en­tre­pre­neur from Le­ices­ter, on May 6, 2016 stated: “Ni­cole Stur­geon Does my nut in bring us some hag­gis u ugly s**g”. A man pic­tured with a young child, who calls him­self “Brad” (@brad­slife81), on June 9, 2016, says: “Feel sorry for the poor hus­band of Ni­cola Stur­geon. She don’t shut up and f**k me she’s proper pig ugly. An­noy­ing f**king troll.”

How­ever, some of the most dis­turb­ing ver­bal at­tacks fo­cused on the mis­car­riage Stur­geon suf­fered in early 2011, when she was health sec­re­tary in Alex Sal­mond’s gov­ern­ment.

A tweet from a “david an­derle’pen” (@no­god4­dave) on Septem­ber 4, 2016, stated: “Just been blocked by Ni­cola “Roll out the mis­car­riage” Stur­geon. Can’t imag­ine why. Not yet woo’d!”

On the same sub­ject, a tweet on Septem­ber 4, 2016 from “Stop the PC mad­ness” (@thewin­ning55) which in­cluded a pic­ture of the late far­right, anti-im­mi­grant Tory politi­cian Enoch Pow­ell, said: “I know this may be harsh, but #stur­geon has lied about so many things in the last 2 yrs should we be­lieve her about the mis­car­riage? #snpout.”

A “Cap­tain Swing” (@captswing), who de­scribes them­selves as a “Brexit win­ner and Pa­triot”, on Septem­ber 5, 2016, stated: “More Stur­geon mis­car­riage story is hor­rific.. that some­one had sex with wee Jimmy Crankie.” A “Jonathan Geary” (@jock­ysaltire), on Septem­ber 7, 2016, said: “Ni­cola stur­geon is us­ing her mis­car­riage to gain mo­men­tum for in­die ref 2! Shame­ful and dis­gust­ing.”

There were also more racist and misog­y­nis­tic post­ings, with a “Mac Bradley” (@MacBradley) on July 5, 2016, say­ing: “Ni­cola Stur­geon is a f**king an­noy­ing Scot­tish c**t like, Shur­rap man can’t wait to YT all owa ya coun­try on Thurs­day ya s**t.” A “Tommy El­lam” (@El­lam9), pic­tured with a woman and with a photo show­ing the foot­ball sta­dium at Leeds United foot­ball club, from June 26, 2016, says: “Ni­cola Stur­geon is an ugly s**t”.

There were more death wishes from a “Casper Johnston” (@CasperCj71), who iden­ti­fies him­self as a Ukip mem­ber, on Jan­uary 23, 2016, say­ing: “the quicker that stur­geon thing is as­sas­si­nated the bet­ter the f**ked up c**t and she should use Scot­tish £ not the rest of uks”. A Twit­ter user call­ing them­self “MDE” @M16_0RA, on Jan­uary 25, 2016, said: “I’d like to see Ni­cola Stur­geon set on fire. The Jimmy Krankie c**t.”

Last night, Po­lice Scot­land con­firmed it was look­ing into the abu­sive tweets high­lighted by the @stur­geonabuse Twit­ter ac­count. A force spokesper­son said: “Po­lice Scot­land is aware of this ac­count and work is be­ing un­der­taken around it.”

We are ap­proach­ing safety with a sense of ur­gency. We will be rolling out a num­ber of changes in the com­ing days and weeks. You can ex­pect to see mean­ing­ful progress in this area

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