BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: UK: Scotland
Front Page 
Northern Ireland 
UK Politics 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

Tuesday, 31 October, 2000, 16:47 GMT
Text message obscenity man fined
Text message
Boyce sent four messages in quick succession
A farmworker has been fined 100 for sending obscene mobile phone text messages to a man he accused of wrecking his marriage.

Callum Boyce has become one of the first people in the UK to be convicted of using the text messaging system in an offensive manner.

Perth Sheriff Court heard how the father-of-two sent four vitriolic messages within 27 minutes to his former friend and colleague Peter Buller's mobile phone after he had found him alone with his wife.

The 23-year-old had accused Mr Buller of paying for sex and destroying his marriage.

Text messaging
The use of text on mobiles has exploded in recent years
The UK has 30 million mobile users
500 million messages are sent each month in the UK
800 billion are sent each month worldwide
The court heard Boyce had also demanded a copy of a home video of himself having sex with Mr Buller's wife so that he could show his own wife.

Boyce, from Milnathort, admitted repeatedly sending grossly offensive messages contrary to the 1984 Telecommunications Act at Hardiston Farm, Cleish, on 31 July.

Fiscal depute David Logan said: "The complainer and the accused appeared to be good friends until recently, but now when they meet they trade insults."

Mr Logan said the accused had sent four offensive text messages, the first of which was transmitted at 0856 BST on 31 July.

Messages 'retaliation'

The next arrived 15 minutes later, with the last two sent at six minute intervals.

Mr Buller contacted the police after the fourth message and Boyce was arrested.

Boyce told police the men had fallen out because Mr Buller had aggravated him and he sent the messages as retaliation.

Sheriff court
The accused was fined 100 in court
Solicitor Rosie Scott said the two men had worked beside each other on a farm and had been close friends.

However, when Mr Buller was off on sick leave, Boyce got his job and there was aggravation between them when Mr Buller returned.

"The final straw came when the accused returned home from work and found Mr Buller in his house," Mrs Scott said.

"Boyce's wife said he had been aggravating her and making advances towards her, suggesting she should have sex with him.

"Mrs Boyce was clearly upset and her husband decided he had had enough of Mr Buller. He did not realise it would go this far."

She said the victim knew who had sent the messages because Boyce's number had flashed up on his mobile phone.

Boyce left the court without comment, accompanied by his wife.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
See also:

09 Sep 00 | UK
Text messaging grows up
18 Aug 00 | Entertainment
Text messages take centre stage
16 Sep 99 | e-cyclopedia
Txt msging: Th shp of thngs 2 cm?
15 Oct 99 | e-cyclopedia
Txt msging Part 2: The vocab list
Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Scotland stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Scotland stories