Husband discovered ex-SNP councillor's '˜racist texts' to wife

A shocked husband found a trove of racist texts allegedly sent by an SNP councillor to his wife - an aide to Health Minister Shona Robison - after he discovered the pair were having a secret affair, a court heard today.
Craig Melville. Picture: ContributedCraig Melville. Picture: Contributed
Craig Melville. Picture: Contributed

Craig Melville - who had to resign his post as a Dundee City Councillor and aide to SNP MP Stewart Hosie over the allegations - is alleged to have sent a series of texts to Nadia El Nakla on the two days following the 2015 Paris terror attacks.

Ms El Nakla, a caseworker for SNP MSP Shona Robison, told a trial at Dundee Sheriff Court how she had started working at the party’s Dundee offices in January 2014.

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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 fiancee that year.

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

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.

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Ex-SNP Dundee councillor '˜sent lover string of racist 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 *****.”

Another text said: “And Muslim politicians in the UK have a duty to speak out and educate.

“That should be their number one priority, not staged photos taking refugees off boats and writing patronising messages of support.”

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.

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Mr Umar, 39, told the trial 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.

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.”

The messages handed to police by Mr Umar were shown in court today - with sexual messages mixed among mundane conversation and the racist content.

Mr Umar said: “Initially I was only thinking about the affair - but later I thought that someone in his elected position shouldn’t have these views so I sent them to MSPs and his bosses.”

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Fiscal depute Joanne Smith asked him: “If it was suggested to you that you somehow manufactured or fabricated these messages what would you say to that?”

He replied: “I’d say that’s a lie.”

Melville, 37, 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.

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”.

The trial, before Sheriff Scott Pattison, continues on January 25.