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MP Lisa Cameron says her stalker has to be helped to stop offending

© Jamie WilliamsonLisa Cameron, SNP MP for East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow
Lisa Cameron, SNP MP for East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow

An MP left fearing for her life by a convicted stalker hopes the justice system will prevent him offending again.

Instead of a custodial sentence, Dr Lisa Cameron had hoped the court would impose a formal treatment programme to force repeat offender Brian McKerrow to address his behaviour.

Sheriff Linda Nicolson last week sentenced McKerrow, 49, who describes himself as a fathers’ rights campaigner, to two years’ supervision after he used a megaphone to verbally abuse the MP, and banned him from going near the SNP politician.

The MP says she is relieved after being assured McKerrow will be required to undergo drugs, alcohol and mental health treatment as well as supervision over his conduct.

Revealing she is still receiving counselling over the incident last year, as well as regular security protection, the Lanarkshire MP and clinical psychologist, said: “It’s a relief I won’t personally have to worry about this man continuing to abuse me, and my biggest concern has always been that any sentence includes a robust treatment programme which should prevent him offending again.”

Cameron, 49, was left traumatised by the abuse she suffered from McKerrow, who has previously carried out similar offences involving other female politicians.

In March, she spoke out to highlight the unacceptable abuse endured by women in politics.

She said: “It would sadden me greatly if someone else was subjected to the behaviour Mr McKerrow inflicted upon me. I fear unless we get to the root of why he has been doing what he does, he won’t learn how to control and prevent this happening again.”

McKerrow, from Kirkintilloch, who was sentenced last Thursday at Hamilton Sheriff Court, had pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of threatening the MP last year after turning up at her East Kilbride constituency office to shout abuse through a megaphone at her.

Seven years ago, McKerrow was given a community service order for abusing SNP MSP Christine McKelvie, and we revealed in March that he had also contacted MSP Linda Fabiani before she retired.

Dr Cameron received overwhelming support for speaking out over the level abuse politicians and women in public life receive.

She said: “It’s an issue that won’t go away unless we tackle it properly.

“I’ve seen colleagues deeply distressed by that horrible, unrelenting abuse which can be personal and offensive.

“It’s not something that we signed up for when we took on this job and it saddened me that just days ago we learned our youngest MP Nadia Whittome was having to take time off and developed PTSD because of the abuse she has suffered.

“I’d like her to know that nobody is immune when they suffer attacks like she has, and I’m more than happy to reach out to her and share my experience in the hope that I may help her.

“But the bottom line is that none of us should have to suffer abuse, and far more needs to be done to recognise just how cruel and damaging this kind of behaviour can be with far more measures put in place to prevent it happening along with realistic sentencing for those who do it.”