Twitter troll who targeted Humza Yousaf walks free from court

A man who racially abused former justice secretary Humza Yousaf on Twitter was branded a “narrow-minded religious bigot” by a sheriff.

Humza Yousaf

Stuart Smith, 64, claimed the SNP MSP, who is now health secretary, supported “Muslim killers” and raised money for their families on November 14 2015.

The message was sent on November 14 2015 - the day after the Paris terror attack and was in response to a screenshot of Mr Yousaf’s “#PrayForParis” tweet.

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Smith was found guilty of behaving in a threatening or abusive manner aggravated by religious prejudice after a trial at Glasgow Sheriff Court last November.

On Monday, Sheriff Sean Murphy QC tagged Smith for six months keeping him indoors between 7pm and 7am.

The sheriff said: "You misused Twitter to post a grossly offensive message containing derogatory remarks about Islam through your comments about a person of that faith who held – and holds – a prominent place in Scottish life.

"Your behaviour was nothing less than an exhibition of narrow-minded religious bigotry.

"Prejudice of this kind has no place in modern Scotland in the 21st century and you should be ashamed of yourself.

"I find it impossible to understand why people like you, sitting alone somewhere with access to social media, think it is acceptable to transmit to the rest of the world hateful messages without having to look in the face the people that you are talking to or talking about. That is a form of moral cowardice."

Smith - a self-proclaimed "hermit" - denied tweeting the message. He insisted his account had been hacked in the past including pornography being posted without his knowledge.