"Taig taunt" abuser of reporter sentenced to six months, as NUJ pledges to combat online bullies
9 January 2014
The NUJ has pledged to continue its campaign against online bullying of journalists, threatened for carrying out their professional duties, following the sentencing of a football supporter for sending a threatening communication to a journalist aggravated by racial and religious prejudice.
David Limond, who referred to journalist Angela Haggerty, a reporter in Glasgow, as “Taig of the day” and “scum of the day” and encouraged listeners to abuse her on Twitter, was sentenced to six months in prison at Ayr Sheriff Court. (Thursday 9 January).
Paul Holleran, National Union of Journalists Scotland organiser, said:
“This robust action by the justiciary sends a clear message to those individuals who think it is acceptable to bully, threaten and incite others to violence through the social media. The NUJ will continue to campaign against online bullying particularly where members are on the receiving end of abuse and threats merely for carrying out their professional duties as a journalist.
"Angela Haggerty was brave enough to challenge the abuser in this case and she is to be applauded for that. The NUJ encourages members to contact us or the police directly if they are subjected to any form of abuse and specifically threats of violence. Maybe individuals will think twice before they send hate messages via the various forms of media and this sentence will certainly focus minds.”
Limond was found guilty at Ayr Sheriff Court in December after a two-day trial and his sentence handed down today, which also included a three year non harassment order.
Angela Haggerty gave an account of her experience to the NUJ last month following Limond’s conviction. She said:
“I’m relieved that the case is now over and I’m satisfied with the court’s judgement. Mr Limond targeted me both because of my profession as a journalist and because of my Irish heritage.
“I hope that the case will encourage others to report similar abuse and intimidation. The result of this case is an important one for journalism in Scotland. Protection of journalists is vital for a healthy media environment and intimidation of journalists who covered the financial collapse of Rangers has been well documented.”
The incident involving Limond was highlighted by Alex Thomson on Channel 4 News in a feature about intimidation of journalists and other figures involved in covering the story of Rangers’ financial problems throughout 2012.
- NUJ briefing on online sexism, cyber bullying and online abuse
- NUJ guidance for union reps on sexual harassment