A “SELF-OBSESSED” son is facing jail for sending poison pen letters to his
elderly mum, her boyfriend and their neighbours in a bid to split them up.
Joseph Carson sent letters and texts to his 80-year-old mum and her former boyfriend – who is 77.
At Paisley Sheriff Court, 58-year-old Carson admitted sending a string of letters to his mother, the police and social work staff in Johnstone, claiming he sent them because he was looking out for her.
He went on trial after he denied the letters broke the law by being of a threatening or abusive nature which was likely to cause a reasonable person to suffer fear or alarm.
Prosecutors claimed he broke the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010 between December 13 and 30, 2014.
And, as he convicted Carson, Sheriff Seith Ireland said: “I found the crown witnesses in this case to be both credible and reliable.
“I reject the evidence of Mr Carson. I did not find him truthful in his evidence. He appeared to be a self-obsessed individual.”
In letters sent by Carson, he branded his mum’s former partner, who is from Clarkston, “a sleaze” and “a worthless piece of dog poo”.
Another letter, sent to the boyfriend, read: “I have one problem in my life and that is you”.
Giving evidence in his own defence at a previous hearing, Carson said he sent them because he was worried for his mum, who lives in Erskine.
When asked by defence solicitor David Nicholson why he had sent the letters, Carson said: “He disrespected my mother outwith her presence. I was trying to put the fear of God into [the former partner] because of what he’d done to me, my mother and my deceased father.
“The police wouldn’t do anything – they wouldn’t attend my mother’s house to protect her from [him], the social work service also refused to attend my mother’s house.”
Carson added: “I tried everything possible to go down the proper route, to protect my mother, to get rid of him.
“I wrote the letters to try and protect her. At the time, I thought sending the letters out to protect my mother would be within the law.”
Giving evidence during the trial, Carson’s mum said she felt “ashamed” and as if she could no longer attend church because of her son’s conduct.
And the 80-year-old said she split from her then partner because of the fallout from her son’s letters.
She explained: “It’s now over two years since we parted...because of issues my son brought up and [he] couldn’t take any more of it.
“It made me very sad. I never thought my son would be like that.”
The boyfriend also gave evidence at a previous hearing, telling the court he had received “terribly vulgar” letters which said Carson thought he was “a negative influence on his mum”.
He added: “I did have visits from the police. I was aware he’d made reports to the police about me.
“I think he was after control of his mother. He’s clearly trying to make trouble for his mother and myself.
“I don’t think he wanted us to go about in the first place.”
Carson also denied sending his mum’s ex-partner a text message which was of a menacing and threatening nature, inferring violence against him and engaging in a course of conduct which caused the couple fear and alarm.
But Sheriff Ireland found him guilty, called for background reports ahead of sentencing and adjourned the case.
Carson, of Machrihanish, Argyll, is now set to learn his fate next month and has the threat of a 12-month jail term hanging over him.
He was on a Community Payback Order at the time he was sending some of the letters.