A MAN has been banned from using YouTube after branding Paisley Sheriff Court “a corporate crime lab” filled with “corporate criminals” on the video sharing website.

Robert Sproul was told to stay off the site over the video rant, amid claims he threatened to “name and shame” a Paisley sheriff on the site.

The 53-year-old broke the law by recording himself outside the court and uploading it to the website.

In the video he said he would obtain a picture of Sheriff Tom McCartney and attach it to the video, and called a Children’s Reporter “a corporate criminal” and “a lying b****”.

He denied he broke the law by making the claims in a video he uploaded to his account on the site on August 24 this year, following a hearing at the court, involving a separate matter, that Sheriff McCartney presided over.

He went on trial at Paisley Sheriff Court this week charged with breaking Section 38(1) of the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010 by behaving in a way that would cause a reasonable person to suffer fear or alarm.

The charge against him stated that he did “utter threatening and abusive remarks about a sheriff and a Children’s Reporter, have said utterances video recorded and upload said recording to the video sharing site known as YouTube”.

The video was shown to the court on numerous occasions and, in it, Sproul referred to the court as “a corporate crime lab” and said staff of the judiciary, Crown Office and Procurator Fiscals Service, Children’s Reporter Administration and Renfrewshire Council were “corporate criminals”.

In the video, he described courts as “private companies trading for profit”, and said he would “name and shame” Sheriff McCartney” amongst other statements.

He also said “Mickey Mouse panel members”, meaning children’s reporters, “steal weans”, and said they steal fines to pay for pensions and expenses.

The Children’s Reporter in question, Leona McPherson, was called as a witness and gave evidence in the case.

The 37-year-old said: “There was fairly derogatory language being used about myself and a sheriff.

“It was very upsetting and quite alarming.”

Sheriff McCartney was not cited or called to give evidence in the case, and Sheriff Raymond McMenamin said there was therefore “nothing to indicate he felt one way or the other about it.”

Sproul represented himself and gave evidence in his own defence, telling the court: “I am not the person, Sir – I am not going to have my status diminished. I am a living man.”

Sproul said he was self employed, worked fixing cars and labouring, had studied law for six years and had been dealing with legal matters for his family.

He said he did not use upper case letters in his name and said he had made the video on the day in question as he was “angry” and “upset” at a decision made by Sheriff McCartney, and the conduct of the Children’s Reporter, adding: “What I was doing was not done with malicious intent – it was to show they were doing wrong against a family. In my eyes it was lawful and alright to do so.”

But Sheriff McMenamin found Sproul guilty of making abusive remarks towards the Children’s Reporter after deleting claims he had been threatening or abusive to Sheriff Tom McCartney from the charge.

As he fined Sproul £200 for the offence, Sheriff McMenamin told him: “I just think your anger took you too far and your judgement was lost.”

Sproul, who has previously been given jail sentences totalling eight years for drugs offences, then told the sheriff: “I regret what I’ve done but I was doing it, in my belief, for the right reasons.

“It was the only way I thought I could be heard – my hands were tied.

“The only way I could express it was that video.

“You are a very honourable man – It has been a pleasure to do a trial with you today.”

When asked at his first court hearing if he understood and would comply with his bail conditions, which included a YouTube ban, Sproul, of Glasgow, said: “I understand that.