North East fisherman William Curtis was described as "vile and evil" as he was fined £2600 for threatening to kill SNP politicians Stewart Stevenson and Angus MacNeil.

Curtis, who according to court papers was the skipper of a fishing boat, had gone to a constituency surgery being held by Stevenson in the centre of Aberchirder in August 2016.

The angry fisherman told Stevenson that the company Barratlantic, a seafood firm on the Isle of Barra, had employed Romanian seamen and grossly underpaid them.

Curtis claimed he was being persecuted by Barratlanic and said they had complained about him to police and that there was now a report with the Procurator Fiscal.

This, the National understands, was not true.

Curtis said the authorities were invovled because, he believed, that the firm was connected to the family of MacNeil, the MP for the Western Isles.

The firm, in fact, has no connection to MacNeil and were stumped by Curtis's claims when alerted to them by The National.

As he left the surgery, Curtis told Stevenson he had 14 days to contact the Procurator Fiscal in Oban and do something about it. He then added “Remember what happened to Jo Cox”.

Stevenson was very “concerned and frightened” by the remark.

Sentencing Curtis at Peterhead Sheriff Court today, Sheriff Robert Dickson said: “This was not an outburst made in temper.

“It was a cold, calculated threat made in a calm tone and was all the more terrifying because of this. It was made deliberately in order to cause fear and alarm and it did so. It was particularly effective because the tragic death of Jo Cox was at that time so fresh in everybody’s memory.”

He added: “Any form of death threat is a very serious matter. In this case you made it to a politician knowing that the reference to the murder of Jo Cox would be exceptionally alarming because she had been stabbed by a disgruntled constituent because of her political work.

“Speaking of the death of somebody who appears to have been a highly respected and hard working MP as a method of threatening other politicians was vile and evil.

“The courts have a duty to make it clear to you and others who try to frighten, terrify or alarm others that such behaviour will never be acceptable."

The Sheriff added: "Everybody is entitled in this country to live free of fear for their safety and for the safety of others.”