Man faces trial over Manchester bombing victim abuse

PIC IAN RUTHERFORD
PIC IAN RUTHERFORD

A man is to stand trial accused of posting racist and abusive messages on Facebook about the victims of the Manchester bombing.

Alister Craigie was arrested and charged by police for allegedly making remarks about English people in the wake May’s tragedy — which saw 22 people killed by a suicide bomber outside an Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena.

Craigie (59) allegedly took to social media just hours after the atrocity to make comments about the victims - from a variety of addresses, including Kirkcaldy.

He also allegedly responded to questions from other people to say that people at a concert deserved to die if they were English.

He appeared at Dundee Sheriff Court today (Friday) to face a charge of sending “racist, abusive and offensive comments” in relation to the bombing.

It is alleged that Craigie sent public messages to Martin Hogg, Gavin Carson, Claire Gallagher, David Vanegas and Gordon Taylor — all members of the public — at his home address and elsewhere in Dundee, Kirkcaldy and Leith.

Prosecutors say that Craigie’s messages were “grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character” and were sent on Monday and Tuesday.

The charge also states that Craigie’s messages were racially-aggravated.

Craigie denied the charge at a pre-trial hearing at Dundee Sheriff Court.

His case was continued to a trial date in September.

A police spokesman said: “Police Scotland can confirm that a 59-year-old man from the Stobswell area was arrested and charged with communications offences relating to abusive comments on Facebook.”

Many of the victims of Monday’s blast, as people left an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester Arena, were children.

They included Scottish schoolgirl Eilidh MacLeod, 14, from Barra in the Outer Hebrides.