A court heard how Alexander Agnew’s messages left Sarwar fearing for his own safety and that of his family
A twisted racist who sent a series of vile email messages to Labour MSP Anas Sarwar in a sickening hate campaign narrowly escaped jail yesterday.
Alexander Agnew, 53, said in one message: “Scotland shall never accept a brown skinned heretic as anything but a rapist culture and a sin against God.”
Another said: “Keep a close eye on your offices,” and added a fire emoji.
Another email said the “Moslem horde was fought” and ended “NOT ONE STEP BACK, Alexander”.
The emails also included a video from far right terror group Nation Action. One was headed: “GET OUT”.
The emails left Sarwar, whose father Mohammad was the UK’s first Muslim MP, fearing for his own safety and that of his family.
Glasgow Sheriff Court heard that Agnew, of Govan, Glasgow, sent eight threatening emails to the former Scottish Labour leadership contender between February 5 and February 24 last year.
At an earlier hearing, he admitted sending racially aggravated abusive messages.
At sentencing yesterday, Campbell Porter, defending, said Agnew had carried out his campaign after drinking alcohol.
Agnew said he could not remember sending most of the emails, including the one with the video attached because of drink.
Sheriff Lindsay Wood called the offences “utterly unacceptable” and “aimed at a man doing a good job in public service”.
He said: “These offences are jailable but I am persuaded they can be dealt with in an alternative way.”
The sheriff ordered Agnew to carry out 120 hours of unpaid work, placed him on a 12-month supervision order and imposed a night-time curfew for eight months.
The sheriff warned Agnew: “If you breach that you’ll be back in front of me in two minutes.”
Sarwar, chairman of the Scottish Parliament Cross Party Group on Tackling Islamophobia, said: “While it has been a very difficult time for me and my family, it has strengthened my resolve to keep fighting for those who aren’t as fortunate as I am to have a voice.
“I want to thank the police and courts for their action and hope it encourages victims to report instances of anti-Muslim hatred.
“I remain increasingly confident that by working together we can build a Scotland that is free of prejudice and hate.”