Scottish Independence: ‘No’ voter fined for abuse

Tensions were running high during the referendum. Picture: Michael Gillen
Tensions were running high during the referendum. Picture: Michael Gillen
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A NO voter who yelled abuse at an independence supporter in a garage forecourt just days before the Scottish referendum has been fined.

Henry Harvey, 44, began swearing at the driver of a car emblazoned with Yes and SNP stickers on September 11 last year – telling him his view would “break up the country”.

The motorist – who has not been named – had just pulled into a garage on Links Road in Port Seton when he was hit with a volley of expletives.

Harvey, a plasterer by trade, had been working nearby when he spotted the car decked out in Yes promotional stickers.

Edinburgh Sheriff Court heard yesterday that emotions had been “running high” ahead of the crunch constitutional vote on September 18 and Mr Harvey had “let himself down” by his actions.

Procurator fiscal depute Francesca Risino said Harvey, of Redcroft Street, Dander-hall, shouted at the bewildered motorist who then entered the filling station to tell staff he was being “verbally abused” by the workman.

Ms Risino said: “Concerned about the abuse of a customer, the employee accompanied them back to the car, at which point Harvey started to shout and swear in an aggressive manner.”

Harvey yelled several obscenities before shouting: “Clearly you are going to break up the country.”

Ms Risino said: “The police were called and the SNP representative left in his vehicle.”

Defence agent Angela Craig said Harvey, a first offender, had “let himself and his family down”. She said: “Feelings were running high at that time. He realises he lost his temper.”

Ms Craig said Harvey, who runs his own plastering business, cancelled the contract he was working on nearby to “get away from the situation”.

Harvey pleaded guilty to behaving in a threatening or abusive manner by shouting, swearing and making political remarks.

Sheriff Frank Crowe joked that it might be better to defer Harvey’s sentence until after the general election on May 7. However, he acknowledged that he had never been in trouble before and fined him £130.

He told Harvey: “You just got to the stage where you abused the guy and things went right off course.”

Harvey declined to comment when approached by the News.

The independence campaign sparked several incidents as tensions ran high on both sides.

The door handles of a Yes shop in Penicuik were smeared in excrement in August, just days after it was opened by Margo MacDonald’s widower Jim Sillars. And a pro-independence store in Newington was daubed with Nazi slogans and the words “No Thanks”.