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Man threatened the lives of his lesbian niece and her girlfriend in homophobic attack

A Scottish man threatened the lives of his niece and her girlfriend in a “grossly offensive” homophobic attack just before Christmas.

Brian Pratt, 38, from Aberdeen, admitted in court to sending a series of “menacing” messages to his niece Jade Pratt and her partner Rebecca Russo.

Sheriff Christine McCrossan sentenced him to 60 hours of unpaid work.

The court heard how Pratt began sending the texts on the afternoon of December 22nd.

Fiscal depute Karen Dow said the exchange became heated, and that Pratt began sending them both messages calling them “dykes” and “lesbos”.

Pratt also sent the two women a message which included their home address, and another in which he said he couldn’t wait to “ruin” their Christmas.

He then began phoning the couple, leaving a number of voicemails, including one where he said “you’re dead”.

His niece called the police, and while officers were at her home in the Cornfield Road area of Turriff, Pratt left another abusive voicemail, the court heard.

Defending Pratt, Gregor Kelly said the incident had been the result of a falling out between the relatives.

The two had been close, he said, adding that Jade had lived at her uncle’s house for some time.

However, the relationship deteriorated after valuables which had belonged to Brian’s grandmother went missing, a loss which he blamed on his niece.

Kelly said Pratt was “deeply apologetic,” and wanted to mend the relationship with his niece after his sentence.

The court heard how Jade had been in touch with her uncle to apologise for what had happened since the incident.

Kelly said his client had frequently used ecstasy in his past, adding that now “the chickens had come to roost” in terms of his behaviour.

He said Pratt, of Kembhill Park, Kemnay, suffered from paranoia and “embryonic psychosis” because of his drug use.

Pratt lost his job in the oil and gas industry in 2014 and was currently unemployed, Kelly added.

He added that his client would therefore not be in a position to pay a fine, leading the sheriff to give him unpaid work instead.

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