Pensioner to stand trial accused of threatening Nicola Sturgeon

The 69-year-old is also accused of being involved in the assault and abduction of a sheriff.

William Curtis to stand trial accused of threatening First Minister Nicola Sturgeon STV News
Trial: William Curtis is accused of threatening First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

A pensioner is to stand trial accused of threatening Nicola Sturgeon.

William Curtis is also charged with being involved in the assault and abduction of a sheriff as well as sending a video in connection with the murder of MP Jo Cox to another nationalist politician.

The 69-year-old faced the claims at the High Court in Glasgow on Monday. 

The indictment first alleges that he sent emails and posted social media messages making “threatening remarks” to the First Minister between February 27 and March 6, 2019.

It is said this would likely have caused “fear and alarm”.

Curtis is then accused of acting in a similar manner towards former Banffshire and Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson.

This charge claims on March 9, 2019, the pensioner sent a threatening online message which also contained a link to a video relating to the killing of Labour MP Jo Cox.

Both accusations are said to have occurred at an address in Aberchirder, Aberdeenshire.

Curtis is also charged – along with 60-year-old Philip Mitchell – of attacking Sheriff Robert McDonald on June 29, 2021.

The incident is said to have happened in St Mary’s car park in Banff, Aberdeenshire – the town where Sheriff McDonald presides.

It is claimed the pair did assault and abduct him by grabbing him, pulling the lawyer to the ground then sitting on top of him and detaining him against his will.

Curtis alone faces two further charges of behaving in a threatening and abusive manner.

Both he and Mitchell were in the dock for the hearing on Monday.

Each man had no lawyer and represented themselves.

Curtis pled not guilty, but Mitchell said he was not entering a plea to the charge he faces.

In lengthy submissions to Lord Doherty, Mitchell said he was facing “unlawful proceedings” and that he had been “forced” to act on his own behalf in court.

At one stage, the judge told Mitchell he had repeated a remark “at least ten times”.

Lord Doherty went on to state that it was “imperative” that a trial be fixed.

He sent a trial against both due to begin on January 9 next year in Inverness.

There will be a further hearing prior to that on June 9 this year in Livingston before judge Lord Weir.