Chocolatiers: Anti-Gay, Anti-English Abuse Forced Us Out of Scottish Town
An English gay couple claims they will have to move out of a remote Scottish village because the town's citizens constantly subjected them to anti-gay and anti-English abuse from , the U.K. newspaper the Daily Mail reports.
Paul Maden and James Findlay moved to Scotland a decade ago to become chocolatiers and the couple eventually made a name for themselves while living in the remote village of Durness, in Sutherland, an area in the Scottish Highlands. Their chocolates became so popular U.S. senators, Yoko Ono and even Prince Charles bought their sweets.
Although business was good, the couple's home life was suffering as they were allegedly enduring anti-gay and anti-English abuse. The abuse started when they first moved to the area and the men claimed neighbors stalked them outside their home and shouted, "fuck off you English queer faggot," the British publication the Telegraph notes.
Maden, 45, and Findlay, 40, are now considering leaving the town when the tension came to a head and they were taken to court by John Morrison and his son Malcolm Morrison, members of the community who say the couple assaulted them. The chocolatiers, however, say that the father and son have harassed them since they moved to the village 10 years ago. The case was dismissed after Maden pleaded self-defense.
"We constantly live in fear. We're looking to get away as quickly as possible but at the moment it's difficult because of the financial climate," Findlay said in court. The couple goes on to say that the Morrison family has intimidated them since they arrived in the town but the Morrison family denied the abuse and claim the men have made other people's lives miserable.
John Morrison, 63, told the court that he and his son, 35, drove by the couple's shop when the chocolatiers singled for them to stop.
"I wound down the window and they just started punching me," John Morrison said. But the men's lawyer, Marc Dixon, said, "This is part of a campaign against these men that's gone on since they moved in because you don't like them and you don't like their lifestyle."
Kevin Crowe, the chairman of Durness Community Council, says the men "are not the only gays in the village." He expressed surprised at the couple's allegations and insisted that the community has been friendly and accepting.
Maden told the Telegraph that he and his partner have been threatened with death, physically attacked, pelted with seeds and the victims of racist and anti-gay abuse.
"It is quite frightening when you are in a remote place, a lot of places you do not get mobile phone signal and you feel quite vulnerable," he told the publication. "I feel Durness is quite a tolerant village. It's just the Morrisons that have taken a dislike to us," Findlay said.