MP Joanna Cherry's Twitter abuser will learn his fate next month

A Scottish nationalist who sent abusive Twitter messages to SNP MP Joanna Cherry will be sentenced next month after a sheriff called for a psychiatric report.

Friday, 16th April 2021, 2:39 pm
Karte will have to return to Edinburgh Sheriff Court to learn his fate

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Grant Karte sent five disturbing online messages to Ms Cherry - which she feared were threats of sexual violence - during a whisky-fuelled binge earlier this year.

Karte, 30, told the Westminster politician: “You have 24 hours or I will f*** you like you f****d Scotland”.

Abuse target: Joanna Cherry MP

The sick messages were sent on the day Ms Cherry was “sacked” from the SNP’s front bench by the party leadership.

Last month Edinburgh Sheriff Court was told Ms Cherry saw the messages when she was checking her mobile phone and social media accounts at around 6.30pm on February 1.

Prosecutor Callum Thomson said the politician received five private messages on Twitter from an account with the name ‘Grant’.

The fiscal said the first message read: “You don’t know me or what I’m capable of. Tell me something.”

While a second said: “Or I will be your worst enemy.”

A third comment read “Don’t bullshit me” which was quickly followed by another stating “I read between the lines”.

Mr Thomson said the fifth message said: “You have 24 hours or I will f*** you like you f****d Scotland.”

Karte, from Bannockburn, near Stirling, also included an email address and a phone number with the threatening messages.

Ms Cherry, a Member of Parliament for Edinburgh South West, passed the information on to the police and officers arrested him at his home two days later.

Solicitor Simon Collins told the court his client did not intend the messages to be viewed as sexual threats and that he was “a follower of the SNP”.

He said it had been a “high-profile” time for Ms Cherry and the party and Karte was “trying to find some answers”.

Karte, a self-employed plumber, returned to the dock for sentencing where Sheriff Alistair Noble was told the self-employed plumber had attempted to minimise the seriousness of the offences during an interview with the social work department.

The court was told Karte claimed Ms Cherry could not have believed the messages to be threatening as the pair knew each after meeting on a number of occasions at SNP rallies.

Mr Collins, defending, added while Karte “accepts he caused alarm and distress” to the politician she would have known “he was not a threat”.

The court was also told Karte believes there was “a two-way connection” between him and Ms Cherry and that he had been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD) in December last year.

Sheriff Noble decided not to sentence Karte yesterday and instead asked for the Crown to make contact with Ms Cherry to ascertain whether she knows Karte personally.

The sheriff also asked for medical confirmation regarding Karte’s BPD diagnosis and for a psychiatric report to be prepared.

Sentence was deferred again to next month.

Karte pleaded guilty to sending threatening Twitter messages to Joanna Cherry that were grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character at the Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh, on February 1 this year.

The messages were sent on the same day Ms Cherry, 54, was “sacked” from her front bench role in the SNP Westminster group.

The MP for Edinburgh South West was serving as the SNP’s Shadow Secretary of State for the Home Department and Justice.

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