A disgraced former councillor who was convicted of sending racist texts to his former lover is appealing against his conviction.
Ex-SNP member Craig Melville, 37, was found guilty after trial at Dundee Sheriff Court of sending “reckless rather than threatening” racist texts to Nadia El-Nakla.
Melville was convicted of sending hateful messages to Ms El-Nakla – who was also a political colleague – in which he blamed “horrible murdering Islamic *****” for the Paris terrorist attacks in 2015.
After a three-day trial, Sheriff Scott Pattison found Melville guilty of the charge and fined him £1,000.
However, the Tele can today reveal the former politician is challenging his conviction at the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh.
Melville had denied sending a number of text messages to Ms El-Nakla that contained threatening, abusive and derogatory remarks regarding Muslims between November 13 and 15 2015 and behaving in a threatening or abusive manner likely to cause fear or alarm, and that the offence was aggravated by religious prejudice.
During the case, Ms El-Nakla told the court they had texted each other as news of the Paris attacks broke on November 13.
She said at that point Melville was calm but he became angry the following night and sent the texts.
One text read: “It’s not personal I just ******* hate your religion and I’ll do all in I’m life do defeat your filth.” (sic)
Another said: “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. The next day he called and apologised.”
She described their relationship as “friends” at the time the texts were sent.
Ms El-Nakla said her husband had taken her phone after discovering a text from Melville and had downloaded 14,000 pages of information, including many deleted texts.
Solicitor Douglas McConnell told the court after the verdict that Melville had since lost his job as environment convener on Dundee City Council, his political career and was having to rebuild relationships with his family.