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Academic threatened to slit throat of Stirling University boss

Postgraduate researcher Iain Patek was banned from the campus after a series of emails.

Stirling University: Academic threatened to kill member of staff.

An academic threatened to kill and slit the throat of a university boss in a series of emails.

Postgraduate researcher Iain Patek, 49, became involved in a dispute with the Deputy Secretary of Stirling University Eileen Schofield Stirling Sheriff Court was told.

He became so angry with Mrs Schofield, who was responsible for staff discipline, that he sent two emails from his staff address threatening to kill her if she ever "messed with him again".

Police and university security were called in and Patek, a member of staff at the university's School of Applied Social Science, was suspended from his job and banned from the campus.

Sonia Kalkat, prosecuting, said one of Patek's letter told Mrs Schofield his threats were an "absolute promise" and he wanted her to contact police so it would go to court.

The depute fiscal said: "During 2010 the accused had become involved in correspondence with university regarding another matter. On the date libelled the accused sent Mrs Schofield two emails which contained threats of violence.

"The first was sent at 9.08 at night on November 7th from the accused's university email address. The subject was 'You're an ignorant piece of sh*t'.

"The rest of the email read 'Your disciplinary procedures are a lot of sh*te. Mess with me again and I will kill you."

Ms Kalkat said at 9.28 a further email was sent with the subject heading "C*nt".

It read: "Schofield, whatever my partner and lawyer discussed with you, remember if you ever lie to me again as you have done, I will come to that university of yours and slit your f***|*ing throat.

"This is an absolute promise. Please contact the police. I want a court case."

About quarter past eight the next day Mrs Schofield read the emails and the police were contacted.

Officers went to Patek's home and he was detained. He made no reply to caution and charge.

Patek, of Murray Place, Stirling, pled guilty to committing a breach of the peace by sending the emails to Mrs Schofield threatening to kill her, and threatening further violence towards her.

Defence solicitor Ken Dalling said Patek had sent the threats after become caught up in grievance procedures with the university about another matter.

Mr Dalling said: "The two emails were not 'an absolute promise'. It was a hollow threat. It was his way of dealing with the grievance procedures. He has difficulty empathising with others."

He added:"I would like to add that Mrs Schofield didn't wish to file a complaint and she thought she was just in the firing line because she was sending the correspondence to the student. She was essentially the piggy in the middle.

"He has in essence been suspended from the university campus, and has made no attempts to contact Mrs Schofield since. His conflict with the university continues."

Sheriff William Summers sentenced Patek to 100 hours community service despite his lawyer asking for a deferred sentence.

He said: "When he sent these emails he didn't know she would be so sanguine. I was given information about the nature of these messages and found them to be grossly menacing, aggressive and threatening.

"I'm not satisfied that deferring sentence is appropriate."
 

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