Former SNP councillor '˜sent series of racist tweets'

A former SNP councillor and aide to Nationalist MP Stewart Hosie was yesterday ordered to stand trial accused of 'threatening and abusing' a Muslim activist in a string of racist text messages.

Craig Melville is alleged to have sent a string of texts to Nadia El-Nakla, who works as a parliamentary assistant and senior case officer for the Scottish health minister Shona Robison, the day after the Paris terror attacks.

Reports at the time alleged he sent a string of expletive-laden messages to Miss El-Nakla stating: “I just f****** hate your religion.”

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Melville was suspended by the SNP and quit as a Dundee City councillor when the allegations came to light last January. He was charged in April.

Melville entered a not guilty plea to the charge against him yesterday at Dundee Sheriff Court through his solicitors.

Court documents state that Melville faces a charge that between November 13 and 15 2015 at Marlee Road, Dundee, he behaved in a threatening and abusive manner towards Nadia El-Nakla.

Prosecutors say he behaved in a way “likely to cause a reasonable person fear and alarm” by sending a series of messages that “contained threatening, abusive and derogatory remarks regarding Muslims”.

Melville, 36, of Marlee Road, Dundee, denies a charge under the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act, which is alleged to have been aggravated by religious prejudice. Fiscal depute Isma Mukhtar asked the court to set intermediate and trial dates.

Sheriff George Way set a trial in October and ordered Melville to attend a pre-trial hearing in September.