Arranged marriage rejection led to hate campaign

The trial was held at Dunfermline Sheriff Court
The trial was held at Dunfermline Sheriff Court

After being turned down by a potential bride in an arranged marriage, a businessman launched a hate campaign which culminated in spray-painting a swastika on the woman’s place of work.

Zain-Ul-Arefin Amir was found guilty of sending racist abusive messages to his victim for months.

When she blocked his messages on her phone, Amir then bombarded the Glenrothes dental practice where she works with calls.

Amir, who owns a property-letting business, was caught out through a top-up card bought at a Tesco store in Dundee which was then used on a phone to send some of the hate messages.

Amir (35) of Candie Crescent, Grangemouth, was found guilty of two charges after a three-day trial at Dunfermline Sheriff Court.

He had denied that on various occasions between August 1 last year and April 14 at Candie Crescent, Grangemouth, High Street, Leslie and elsewhere he engaged in a course of conduct which caused the woman fear or alarm by repeatedly sending text messages which contained sexual, derogatory, abusive and racial remarks directed at her, to her place of employment and attended her place of employment and spray-painted on the walls there an offensive message and a swastika.

Amir also denied that on various occasions between March 29 and April 14 at Candie Crescent, Grangemouth, Culzean Place, Glenrothes and High Street, Leslie, he breached bail conditions by repeatedly attempting to contact his victim.

The woman told the court that she met Amir on two occasions with a view to a possible arranged marriage.

He went to her parents’ home twice but they only spoke on the second occasion, when they were left together for around 20 minutes.

She said afterwards she had sent him a text thanking him for coming to the house but saying they were not compatible and a marriage would not be going ahead.

The woman said he continued to send her messages afterwards, asking how she was, but she ended up asking him to stop as she felt it was not appropriate to keep in touch.

She then started to receive abusive messages from numbers she did not recognise calling her a “slut” and a “whore”.

Messages continued to come, some in the middle of the night and often of a racist nature.

When he could not contact his victim directly Amir then sent around 30 messages a day to the dental practice where she works.

He spray-painted abusive messages on the dental practice wall, writing that she “has HIV” and he also put up a swastika. Some of the messages sent over the months were racist and referred to the woman as a “Paki”.

When cross-examined by depute fiscal Claire Bremner, Amir, who also is of Pakistani origin, said: “I’m not racist to my own race”. Ms Bremner put it to him that it was done to “cover his tracks”.

He responded: “I’m not that sick.”

The jury found Amir guilty of both charges by unanimous verdicts.

Sheriff Charles Macnair called for reports and Amir will be sentenced on October 24. He remains in custody.

As he was led away after the verdict, Amir was still protesting his innocence. “I never even done nothing,” he said as he was taken to the cells, bringing an angry response from the victim’s relatives in the public gallery.