Thug who waged two-year homophobic hate campaign against his gay cousin walks free from court

homophobic hate campaign

A man who waged a two-year campaign of homophobic hatred against his own cousin has walked free from court after claiming it was because of “bad manners”.

Mahir Eroglu, 45, pled guilty to stalking his gay cousin between March 2018 and April 2020. He bombarded the man with homophobic phone calls and text messages, threatening violence against both him and his business, a Turkish kebab shop in Scotland.

Eroglu was convicted in August and claimed he had committed the offence because of his cousin’s “bad manners”. However, the judge acknowledged that the opposition to homosexuality in Turkey was a factor.

“Whatever may be the cultural perception in your homeland of your cousin’s relationship, it does not entitle you in this country to seek to abuse and threaten him,” Gregor Murray said at the time.

“I can see that the background of your former business relationship with him, and the reasons for it breaking up, may have contributed to what you did.”

At the sentencing in September, Eroglu’s defence solicitor Nick Markowski told the court of his “very positive” background report.

“He has been in Scotland for a significant amount of time, has never been in trouble and has a strong work ethic,” The Courier reported Markowski saying.

“He is embarrassed, ashamed and apologetic and it does appear to be isolated behaviour for him. He wishes to apologise publicly to the court.”

Despite acknowledging “the very serious nature of the offence”, the judge allowed Eroglu to walk free with a £1,000 fine.

He was also handed two-year non-harassment order, which prohibits him from any behaviour that may cause alarm or distress to his victim for the next 24 months.

The judge generously opted not to sentence him to an unpaid work placement due to the impact of the coronavirus on the accused’s work and family situation.

“However, the fine I will impose reflects the very serious nature of the offence, and also your income,” he said.