Yes man fined over referendum fracas

John Marshall was fined at Hamilton Sheriff Court.
John Marshall was fined at Hamilton Sheriff Court.

A leading Yes campaigner has been fined for threatening behaviour towards opponents during the independence referendum campaign.

John Marshall hurled abuse as No supporters were knocking doors in Holytown.

A group including Mossend and Holytown Labour councillor Frank McNally were told they had no business being in a ‘Yes street’.

Marshall (41), of Grantholm Avenue, Holytown, was fined £400 at Hamilton Sheriff Court. He admitted shouting, swearing and uttering a threat in Howden Place on August 25 last year.

Sheriff Douglas Brown heard Marshall has three previous convictions for breach of the peace.

Councillor McNally told police he and two colleagues were campaigning ahead of September’s referendum. They knocked on the door of a Yes supporter who informed Marshall and others by phone that a No team were around.

Marshall and several others arrived by car shortly afterwards and confronted Councillor McNally.

A witness said: “It was unsavoury from the start. The No people were told it was a Yes street and they had no right being there.

“People were looking out of their windows when they heard the commotion to find out what was going on.”

One of the No team recorded what was being shouted and police charged Marshall.

Councillor McNally was unwilling to comment on the episode, but fellow Holytown Labour councillor Jimmy Coyle slammed Marshall.

He said: “This man went over the top with threatening behaviour towards people simply because they had a a different view from him. That’s not democracy in any form.”

Marshall works on the Yes Holytown Facebook page which is known for its hardline stance on independence.

A recent post boasted the No campaign had been ‘crushed’ by voters in Holytown. The group is demanding that the SNP pledges a second referendum in its Scottish Parliament elections manifesto.