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Friday, 1 October 2010

Mum fears for family after racist hate mail campaign (UK)

Police are investigating racist hate mail including death threats sent to a mother-of-four in the Capital during a three-year campaign of abuse.

The 36-year-old mum, who lives in Stenhouse, today told the Evening News she fears for her safety after being sent more than 30 cards and letters racially abusing her two mixed-race children and saying she will end up "6ft under".

Police have collected the letters and are investigating the incidents, but so far the culprit remains at large.

The ex-care worker, who wants to remain anonymous, is currently looking after her newborn daughter, plus her two-year-old daughter, eight-year-old son and 16-year-old daughter.

She told how she has been getting a piece of hate mail every couple of months for more than three years.

She said: "At first the cards were just directed at me. The first one I got was a Rest In Peace card that had been bought from the shops.

"But since my two youngest daughters, who are mixed race, were born I've had several letters having a go at them. This person calls my babies 'f****** n******' and says 'I'd better keep my b****** daughter out of the back garden - or else.'

"The father of my two youngest is Gambian and I get cards asking me why I have been f****** n****** and they accuse me of sleeping with monkeys."

The terrified mum described how the racist hate mail nearly always comes in a greetings card, such as a birthday or congratulations card. Sometimes they are scrawled with red and blue ink, while at other times the sender cuts letters from newspaper headlines and pastes them together to form the vile messages.

The ex-care worker has taken a number of steps to try to prevent the threatening mail arriving, including replacing her front door so that it no longer has a letter box.

She sleeps with a fire extinguisher under her bed and has changed bedrooms with her two young daughters so they are away from doors and windows.

The mum said she had "no clue" who was sending the cards.

She said: "I had no idea such vile racism existed in Scotland.

"The police say they are doing what they can and they've sent the letters away for DNA testing, but because it's not a murder investigation there is only so much they can do. It seems my life is worth more if I'm dead."

Her 16-year-old daughter said it had been "heartbreaking" to see how much her mum had changed since the abuse began. She said: "Mum says everything is fine but I know it is eating her up inside. It's so sad that my sister has to go to her grandma's to play outdoors because somebody is watching her here.
My younger brother often stays with his dad, to keep him safe."

Lothian and Borders Police confirmed that they were collecting the hate mail and appealed for anyone with any information to come forward.

A spokesman said: "Officers launched a full inquiry as soon as these incidents, many of which are historic, were reported and are urging anyone with information to come forward."

Scotsman News