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Councillor 'sent Islamophobic messages' to former lover

Craig Melville is alleged to have sent the texts to Nadia El Nakla days after the Paris attacks.

Dundee Sheriff Court: Heard police had examined phones (file pic).
Dundee Sheriff Court: Heard police had examined phones (file pic). PA Images

A ministerial aide has told a trial how her ex-lover sent her a string of Islamophobic messages in the wake of the Paris terror attacks.

Former SNP councillor Craig Melville is alleged to have sent a series of texts to Nadia El Nakla two days after fundamentalists killed 130 people in the French capital in 2015.

Ms El Nakla, a caseworker for health secretary Shona Robison, told a trial at Dundee Sheriff Court how she had started working at the party's Dundee offices in January 2014.

By April of that year she and Melville had started an affair, despite her being married and he being engaged at that point, and later marrying his fiancée that year.

Ms El Nakla told the court their relationship was as "friends" on the night the texts were allegedly sent in November 2015.

In the early hours of the Saturday she said she received a drunken phone call from Melville followed by a series of messages.

One allegedly read: "It's not personal I just f*****g hate your religion and I'll do all in I'm life do defeat your filth." (sic)

Another text said: "And in your favour we live in an uneducated left lift loopy left wing society who is more interested in claiming benefits and being ignorant to the threat of your horrible disease which is a make believe **** in the sky. (sic)

"Horrible murdering Islamic *****."

Melville also allegedly sent a text which read: "If I had a gun I'd shoot a Muslim but I'm not brave enough."

Asked by fiscal depute Joanne Smith how she felt about the texts, Ms El Nakla replied: "I was upset, I was confused and upset. He was very drunk and he wasn't making any sense."

Ms El-Nakla said Melville had apologised the following day in yet another text message.

She told the court her husband had taken her phone from her after discovering a text from Melville's number and had downloaded 14,000 pages of information from the device, including many deleted texts.

However, no derogatory texts were found on either her phone or Melville's after they were seized by police, the court was told.

Melville had to resign his posts as a Dundee City councillor and aide to SNP MP Stewart Hosie after the allegations came to light.

The 37-year-old, of Marlee Road, Dundee, denies a charge under the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act, which is alleged to have been aggravated by religious prejudice.

The trial, before Sheriff Scott Pattison, continues on January 25.

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