A woman has told a court that her former partner made a post on social media threatening the assassination of Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
William Curtis, 70, is on trial accused of sending threatening messages to Ms Sturgeon and sending or causing a threatening message to be sent to former MSP Stewart Stevenson.
Alyson Gould, who was Curtis’s partner in March 2019, said that he had a Facebook account in the name of William Patrick Curtis with a profile picture showing him holding a cup of tea.
She was shown an image of a Facebook post from March 3 2019 relating to Ms Sturgeon from an account in the name William Patrick Curtis which was previously shown to the court on Monday.
It read: “We have reason to believe while it is my intention to citizens (sic) arrest her (Ms Sturgeon) to answer her treason, over the last three years, serious people who feel the abuse to the electorate by her criminal activities warrants assassination of her and sevreal (sic) of her ministers, on down to even civilians who work in all these agenices (sic) who have repeatedly lied to the electorate and conspired with the First Minister.”
Prosecutor Chris McKenna asked Mrs Gould whose Facebook profile it came from, to which she replied “William’s”.
Asked who posted the message, she said “William”, confirming that she was referring to William Curtis.
The court previously heard that a direct message was sent on Facebook to Mr Stevenson from a person called Carole Curtis which read: “Your turn is comming (sic) of that you can be sure.”
The message also contained a YouTube video link with reference to former Labour MP Jo Cox, who was murdered by a far-right extremist.
Curtis, who is on trial at the High Court in Glasgow, denies all charges against him and has lodged a special defence of incrimination, claiming someone else committed the allegations involving Mr Stevenson.
Mrs Gould said in March 2019 she had a Facebook account in the name of Carole Curtis but denied sending the message relating to Mr Stevenson, which came from her gold Samsung device, and said that Curtis knew the code to unlock her phone.
Mr McKenna asked her whether she sent the message, to which she replied “no”.
He went on: “Do you know who did?”, to which she replied “well if I didn’t, Billy did”.
She told the court that while she had no interest in politics, Mr Curtis did and that she constantly had to listen to his views.
Cross-examining Mrs Gould, Curtis’s defence agent Gareth Jones KC said the 70-year-old had his own black Vodafone and his own laptop.
He said: “As he had his own laptop and mobile phone, there was no reason for him to use your mobile phone to access the internet. In fact, you did not witness him using your phone to send that message.”
Mrs Gould replied: “No.”
He asked her whether if Curtis did not send the message anyone else could have done so, to which she answered: “I didn’t send it, he did.”
Curtis is accused of behaving in a threatening or abusive manner which was “likely to cause a reasonable person to suffer fear or alarm” by sending emails and posting messages on social media in which he made threatening remarks towards Scotland’s First Minister on various occasions between February 27 and March 6 2019.
He is further accused of allegedly sending or causing a message to be sent through social media on March 9 2019 to Stewart Stevenson MSP which threatened him and contained a link to a video relating to the murder of the MP Jo Cox.
Curtis also faces two other charges of posting messages of a “threatening and abusive nature” on social media in October 2020 and June 2021.
Curtis and another man, Philip Mitchell, 60, have also been accused of assaulting and abducting a sheriff in a car park in Banff, Aberdeenshire, in June 2021.
All the alleged offences happened in Aberdeenshire.
Curtis has denied the charges while Mitchell, who said the trial is unlawful, has had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf by the court.
Later on Wednesday, the court heard from police sergeant John Hampton, who was on duty on March 10, 2019 and was involved in searching Curtis’s home in Aberchirder and arresting him during investigations into the message sent to Mr Stevenson.
Referring to his police notebook from that day, he told the court that after he was arrested, Curtis said: “All this for sending Stewart Stevenson an email, not an email, a message or whatever you call it.”
The police officer said Mr Stevenson had not previously been mentioned.
During cross-examination, Mr Jones said Curtis denies making the comment.
Mr Hampton replied: “I can say categorically that is untrue.”
The trial before Lord Weir continues.