Scotland: Court hears how antiques dealer allegedly called gay teacher ‘paedophile’

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The trial of an antiques dealer in Scotland, who allegedly branded a gay teacher a paedophile on Twitter for campaigning for equal marriage rights, has been adjourned.

David Shuttleton, who lives near Glasgow, reportedly launched a vicious online hate campaign against Jaye Richards-Hill because of her support for legalising equal marriage in Scotland.

Ms Richards-Hill yesterday told Paisley Sheriff Court she felt “utter horror, panic and fear” from the abuse.

It’s claimed Shuttleton attacked the 49-year-old’s reputation by sending her tweets with the hashtags “child abuse” and “danger to children”.

Ms Richards-Hill said: “In those two months there was extreme homophobic abuse on social media channels, predominantly Twitter. ‘Predatory homosexual paedophiles’ was a phrase that was used.”

Another tweet allegedly sent read: “You actually sound suicidal. I can understand why 36 of your types jumped from the Erskine Bridge last year.”

It’s claimed Shuttleton also tweeted Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond and Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to mention about Ms Richards-Hill, who also works as an education adviser to the Scottish Government.

Shuttleton denies behaving in a threatening and abusive manner likely to cause fear and alarm, by repeatedly posting messages on Twitter and Facebook between June and July 2012. He also denies posting a racist comment.

The trial was adjourned until later this year.

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