Man facing jail after broadcast urged listeners to ‘bang bang bang’ young journalist

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  By a Newsnet reporter

A man has been convicted of a religiously aggravated breach of the peace after he subjected a journalist to a torrent of abuse on his Rangers Chat online radio broadcast.

David Limond, 41, featured journalist Angela Haggerty as “taig of the day” during a broadcast – not an official club programme – on 20 September 2012.  The segment began with a jingle in which Mr Limond described Ms Haggerty as ‘taig of the day, scum of the day’.

The word “taig” is a derogatory reference to Irish Catholics, or people of Irish Catholic descent, in Northern Ireland and Scotland.

He went on to describe details of her appearance to listeners and how to contact her on the social networking site Twitter before encouraging listeners to subject her to abusive comments.

“Hit her with everything you’ve got,” Mr Limond said on the programme.  “She’s got to get bang bang bang.”

A short extract from the broadcast

Ms Haggerty told the court during her evidence that she had been shocked to suddenly receive a number of abusive tweets from people she did not know.  After tracking down the source of the incident, she contacted the police.

Upon delivering his verdict in the case at Ayr Sheriff Court, Sheriff Scott Pattison told Mr Limond: “I view this as very serious and I am strongly considering a custodial sentence.”

Ms Haggerty told Newsnet Scotland: “I’m relieved that this episode is over and I’m pleased with the verdict.

“I was targeted because of my connection to a book on Rangers financial collapse, which I edited.  But it’s clear from the language that I was also a target because of my Irish Catholic heritage.  It’s horrible that these attitudes are still held in some quarters.

“The last 12 months have been stressful but I hope that the verdict will help protect journalists, and anyone targeted by this kind of hate crime, in the future.”

Ms Haggerty edited a book published in early September 2012, Downfall, which told the story of the financial problems at Rangers Football Club.

The book was due to be serialised in the Sun newspaper upon publication but was dropped after a Sun journalist was threatened and the paper was deluged with complaints from Rangers fans.

The incident was one of several reports of intimidation and threats throughout 2012 as Rangers’ money problems peaked.  Ms Haggerty’s story was later featured in a Channel 4 News report about the problem in Glasgow and Mr Limond was then arrested.

Sheriff Pattison released Mr Limond on bail but told him not to use Twitter or contact Ms Haggerty through any other channel.

He will appear for sentencing on 9 January.