Port Seton man’s ‘idle threat’ of shooting children

A man who admitted sending his ex-girlfriend a threatening text message saying he wanted to shoot her children in the head has been fined.

Graham Temple was angry after an argument with partner May Thomson.

Neighbours overheard Temple (38) and the woman having an altercation well into the night on June 9 and 10, during which Ms Thomson was forced to leave the property in her pyjamas around 1am.

Depute procurator fiscal Kirtsy Anderson told Haddington Sheriff Court last Wednesday the couple were at Ms Thomson’s home at around 2pm on the day of the incident.

Ms Anderson said: “They began arguing over the complainer [Ms Thomson’s] two daughters, who the accused had a poor relationship with. The accused had been drinking heavily throughout the day, and neighbours heard shouting and swearing, and the argument continued throughout the evening.

“The complainer left the home at 1am in her pyjamas because she was so upset at what was going on. The accused then sent her a text message saying ‘I hope you find happiness with your spawn – personally I would love to shoot them in the head’.” The shouting continued the following day and Ms Thomson subsequently contacted the police. Temple was taken to Dalkeith police station where he said he “didn’t mean the text message”.

Unemployed Temple, 19 Castle Terrace, Port Seton, pleaded guilty to behaving in a threatening or abusive manner by shouting, swearing and sending a threatening text to partner May Thomson at Drummohr Drive, Prestonpans when he appeared in court in August. He had his sentence deferred for him to be of good behaviour.

Last Wednesday, defence agent Colm Dempsey told the court there was “no prospect” of the two-year relationship being rekindled, and the text message was just an “idle threat”.

Sheriff Simon Collins said the message was “extremely unpleasant” and would have been “alarming to any reasonable person”. He fined Temple £166.

More stories from Haddington Sheriff Court in this week’s East Lothian News, on sale now.


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