Former SNP councillor convicted over racist texts

A former SNP councillor has been convicted of sending his secret lover a string of racist text messages in the aftermath of the Paris terror attacks.
Craig Melville. Picture: PACraig Melville. Picture: PA
Craig Melville. Picture: PA

Craig Melville – who had to resign his post as a Dundee city councillor and aide to SNP MP Stewart Hosie over the allegations – sent a series of vile messages to Nadia El-Nakla, a case worker for Health Minister Shona Robison, on the night of the 2015 Bataclan attacks.

They were later found by Miss El-Nakla’s husband, who had searched her phone after uncovering the pair’s secret affair.

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Miss El Nakla told a trial at Dundee Sheriff Court how she had started working at the party’s Dundee offices in January 2014.

By April of that year she and Melville started an “on-off, intimate” affair despite her being married and he being engaged at that point, and later marrying his fiancée that year.

She told how she was at home on the night of the Paris attacks on Friday, 13 November.

In the early hours of the Saturday she said she received a drunken phone call from Melville.

She said he then sent her a series of texts.

One text allegedly read: “It’s not personal I just f*****g hate your religion and I’ll do all in I’m life do defeat your filth.”

Another text said: “And in your favour we live in an uneducated left lift loopy left wing society who is more interested in claiming benefits and being ignorant to the threat of your horrible disease which is a make believe **** in the sky.

“Horrible murdering Islamic *****.”

She told the court her now estranged husband, Fariad Umar, had taken her phone from her after discovering a text from Melville’s number and had downloaded 14,000 pages of information from her phone, including many deleted texts.

Mr Umar, 39, told the yesterday how he had spotted messages on her iPhone under the name “Karen” that were clearly not from Miss El Nakla’s friend of that name

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He said: “I compared that number with the number on my phone for Karen and they didn’t match.

“I called it and a male voice answered. I Googled it and it came up with Craig Melville’s name.”

Mr Umar later confronted Miss El Nakla who initially denied an affair – prompting the IT specialist to use data recovery software to retrieve the text messages.

He later collated them on a disc that was subsequently passed to police investigating threats alleged to have been made against Miss El Nakla by Melville, a matter
 that was never brought to court.

Mr Umar said: “Nadia told me there were some of these messages so I searched for them.”

Melville, 37, of Marlee Road, Dundee, denied a charge under the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act, which is alleged to have been aggravated by religious prejudice.

Sheriff Pattison fined Melville £1,000, payable at £100 per month.