'You don't know me, or what I am capable of' - SNP member admits sending a string of abusive tweets to MP Joanna Cherry

A drunk Scottish nationalist previously convicted of a knife offence has admitted sending abusive Tweets to SNP MP Joanna Cherry.

Friday, 12th March 2021, 6:23 pm
Abuse target: Joanna Cherry MP
Abuse target: Joanna Cherry MP

Grant Karte posted five disturbing online messages to the Edinburgh South West MP following a whisky-fuelled binge last month.

Karte, of Wallace Street, Bannockburn, sent threatening messages to Ms Cherry’s Twitter account including “You have 24 hours or I will f*** you like you f****d Scotland”.

The 30-year-old also sent further menacing tweets including “You don't know me, or what I am capable of.” “tell me something”, “Or I will be your worst enemy” and “Don’t bulls**t me - I read between the lines”.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Following Karte’s guilty plea, Ms Cherry issued a statement in which she said the messages he sent were “were grossly offensive and of an indecent, obscene, and menacing character”.

She also claimed Karte was a member of a local SNP branch “where there have been a significant number of complaints about abuse of women by younger men”.

Ms Cherry added: “I would like to thank the police for their assistance.

“Some of the threats which Mr Karte made to me were of a sexual nature. A recent survey of parliamentarians showed that while politicians of both sexes receive abuse and threats, it is largely female politicians who receive threats of sexual violence. I believe that this is a problem which requires to be acknowledged.

“At the time of the offence Mr Karte was a member of a branch of the SNP where there have been a significant number of complaints about abuse of women by younger men. Had these complaints of abuse, and the targeting of me and other women on social media been addressed, it is likely that this behaviour would not have escalated to the scale of threats of sexual violence.

“Finally, I believe that the untrue allegations of transphobia made against me, some of which were repeated by senior politicians who ought to know better, put a target on my back. Therefore, I hope that everyone involved learns from this episode. Women must be allowed to discuss women’s rights, and to acknowledge that sex matters, without being labelled bigots or abused and threatened. Sex is a biological reality which we cannot ignore and if we do ignore it, we distort reality in a way that can only make women more vulnerable.”

Edinburgh Sheriff Court was told Karte, a self-employed plumber, sent the volley of abusive tweets to the 54-year-old QC after drinking a bottle of whisky.

The court was also told Karte is a supporter of the SNP and due to the alcohol he was “unaware of the messages he sent”.

Solicitor Simon Collins, defending, said Karte was angry at the time and was “trying to find answers to what was happening within the [political] party”

He said Karte “understands” why Ms Cherry called the police and that he “followed and has regard for her”, adding that he has a previous conviction for possessing a knife but does not consider himself to be violent.

Prosecutor Callum Thomson said Ms Cherry was a member of parliament representing the Scottish National Party and received the messages on her Twitter account at around 6.30pm on February 1 this year.

Mr Thomson said: “The complainer was reviewing her mobile phone and social media accounts and received five private messages on her Twitter account.

“The complainer perceived these messages to be threatening and perceived the last one to be threatening some sort of sexual violence.”

The fiscal said one of the abusive messages came from an account with the name Grant and contained Karte’s email address and phone number.

Ms Cherry passed the information on to the police and officers arrived at Karte’s home address and arrested him on February 3.

Sheriff Alistair Noble deferred sentence.

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by coronavirus impacts our advertisers.

If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription.