Unofficial Rangers podcaster David Limond has been sentenced to six months in prison for sending a threatening communication to a journalist aggravated by racial and religious prejudice.
Limond, 41, featured journalist Angela Haggerty – a reporter for The Drum – in a Rangers Chat podcast in September 2012, referring to her as “Taig of the day, scum of the day” and encouraging listeners to abuse her on Twitter. As a result, Haggerty received a stream of abusive tweets.
Limond was found guilty at Ayr Sheriff Court in December after a two-day trial and his sentence handed down today, which also included a three year non harassment order.
Haggerty said: “I’m relieved that the case is now over and I’m satisfied with the court’s judgement. Mr Limond targeted me both because of my profession as a journalist and because of my Irish heritage.
“I hope that the case will encourage others to report similar abuse and intimidation. The result of this case is an important one for journalism in Scotland. Protection of journalists is vital for a healthy media environment and intimidation of journalists who covered the financial collapse of Rangers has been well documented.”
Haggerty wrote about her experience of being trolled on Twitter following the call by Limond to his audience and the fear she experienced as a result.
Paul Holleran, National Union of Journalists Scotland organiser, commented: “This robust action by the justiciary sends a clear message to those individuals who think it is acceptable to bully, threaten and incite others to violence through the social media. The NUJ will continue to campaign against online bullying particularly where members are on the receiving end of abuse and threats merely for carrying out their professional duties as a journalist.
He added: “Angela Haggerty was brave enough to challenge the abuser in this case and she is to be applauded for that. The NUJ encourage members to contact us or the police directly if they are subjected to any form of abuse and specifically threats of violence. Maybe individuals will think twice before they send hate messages via the various forms of media and this sentence will certainly focus minds.”
The incident involving Limond, the brother of Bafta-winning comedian Limmy, was featured on Channel 4 News about intimidation of journalists and other figures involved in covering the story of Rangers’ financial problems throughout 2012.