A MAN who phoned Police Scotland’s non-emergency line to ask whether it would be an offence to travel to Turkey to fight the Islamic State has been fined for making offensive comments.
Stirling Sheriff Court heard that Andrew Gillespie, a former soldier of the French Foreign Legion, dialled 101 last November, seeking legal advice on fighting Isis.
He was matter of fact in the way he was speaking. It was clear that he was intoxicatedLindsey Brooks, depute fiscal
The court heard that at the time of the offence there was “a lot of coverage in the media” surrounding the topic of Isis, and that Gillespie, who is now a labourer, had been discussing it with a friend while drinking alcohol.
After dialling 101, Gillespie said: “I’m going to kill the c****,” and “I would just be shooting Muslims” over the phone.
Lindsey Brooks, depute fiscal, said: “It was ten past ten on a Sunday night.
“The accused was seeking advice as to whether or not it would be against the law to travel to Turkey for the purpose of helping the Kurds and fighting Isis.
“He was matter of fact in the way he was speaking. It was clear that he was intoxicated.
“The call operator did not seem unduly concerned about the comments made but became irritated.
“The comments which are identified as being offensive are ‘I’m going to kill the c****’ and ‘I would just be shooting Muslims.’
Mrs Brooks added that Gillespie made “repeated” reference to Isis as Muslims throughout the call.
Gillespie, 47, of Doune, plead guilty to making a telephone call to Police Scotland on November 16 2014 that was “grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character” by using offensive language.
Fraser McCready, defending, said: “He was part of the French Foreign Legion for four years and was involved in conflict in Somalia and saw a lot of things.”
Mr McCready added that Gillespie had found it very difficult to come to terms with some the events he had witnessed and had since been diagnosed with combat stress.
In reference to the incident, McCready said: “He had been drinking with a friend. During the course of drinking the topic of Isis was raised and there was quite a lot of coverage in the media.
“He and his friend were wondering whether it would be committing a crime to go and fight Isis so he decided to call 101.
“The call handler doesn’t get upset in anyway, she gets irritated.”
Mr McCready then said: “This was a one-off situation of a man who was drinking and [saying] something he was never going to carry out.”
Sheriff Michael Wood told Gillespie: “There are two aspects today that have caused me concern. The first is an unnecessary call to 101.
“The police have better things to do than to provide legal advice to drunks but what you have plead guilty to is the comments made.”
Sheriff Wood said the comments were “highly inappropriate” and that “conflating the Muslim religion with Isis is exactly what Isis wants to happen.”
Gillespie was fined £400.