A MAN who sent threatening Twitter messages to SNP MP Joanna Cherry has been ordered not to contact her for five years.

Grant Karte has also been given a community payback order, supervised for 15 months, with 160 hours of unpaid work in the community.

Ms Cherry contacted police over a threat on February 1, the day she was dropped from her party’s front bench team at Westminster in a reshuffle.

Mr Karte, 30, previously admitted sending Twitter messages on February 1 that were “grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character” in that he repeatedly threatened Ms Cherry contrary to the Communications Act 2003.

Sentencing Karte at Edinburgh Sheriff Court today, Sheriff Alistair Noble said: “You pled guilty to a serious charge, a charge involving threatening a member of parliament.

“Your threat carried implications of violence and one interpretation of what was said was sexual violence.”

Sheriff Noble said he took the view that it was not necessary to impose a period of custody and imposed a community payback order instead, but warned Karte that if he breaches the order he will have to return to court.

Ms Cherry, the Edinburgh South West MP, had been the SNP justice and home affairs spokeswoman at Westminster until the reshuffle in February.

Sheriff Noble also imposed a five-year non-harassment order on Karte which bars him from contacting Ms Cherry from July 30.

Defence agent Simon Collins, representing Karte, said a psychiatric report prepared ahead of the sentencing was positive and “reflects on his regret and remorse regarding the incident.”