A political activist from Berwickshire has fallen foul of Scotland's race hate laws after a social media  row with a 21-year-old student.

Gregory Lauder-Frost, 67, sent Isadora Sinha messages telling her to "go home" and saying "she had no right to be in our country or arguing with a superior race".

As the on-line argument continued, he posted threats saying that "As the KGB say, you are on the list.  Don't get too comfortable."

Lauder-Frost - founder and vice-president of the Traditional Britain Group who want ethnic minorities returned to their "natural homelands" - tried to dismiss the remarks as "throw away" comments as part of a Facebook debate and that he had been provoked.

But following a trial at Jedburgh Sheriff Court last week he was convicted of behaving in a threatening or abusive manner by posting offensive and racist comments likely to cause a reasonable person fear and alarm from his home in Berwickshire last year.

A former leading light in the Monday Club - a right-wing Conservative Party pressure group - Lauder-Frost has courted plenty of controversy in the past with his extreme views.

He caused an outcry with his comments about Baroness Doreen Lawrence - mother of the murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence who had campaigned against racism in Britain - referring to her as "anti-English" and not suitable for the House of Lords.

In 2013 Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg publicly apologised after attending a dinner hosted by the Traditional Britain Group admitting it was "unquestionably a mistake" and describing the views of Lauder-Frost as "disgusting."

But it is the first time in a court of law that the married father-of-two -  who is distantly related to the famous Scots entertainer Sir Harry Lauder - has been convicted of a criminal offence over his extreme political views.

Lauder-Frost's conviction at Jedburgh Sheriff Court is being seen as a message  sent out by the Scottish legal authorities that racist and threatening remarks will not be tolerated on social media despite being notoriously difficult to prove.

He was fined £300 and ordered to pay £200 compensation to Ms Sinha after being found guilty of the racially aggravated offence.

The trial  heard evidence by video link from Ms Sinha, a post-graduate in Genetics from the University of Cardiff, who described herself as British/Indian despite being born in Hong Kong.

She explained how a video "popped up" up on her Facebook page from a Arthur Hargrave on British ethnicity which she commented on as she objected to the views being expressed.

A message then came up on April 25 last year sent from Lauder-Frost's profile saying:"You are not British, you are someone of foreign ethnicity."

More followed during the exchanges which said:"It is not skin colour that matters, it is race.  Your natural home lies out of the UK."

"Please go back to your natural homeland instead of insulting us."

Lauder-Frost later sent a picture of two light-skinned women saying:"Here are caucasians", adding afterwards: "I am not a white Nationalist.  I want to keep Britain British.  If you are not ethnically British, you are not British."

Other messages from his profile stated:"You have no right to be in our country or arguing with a superior race" and "What do you think you are doing in my country?"

Lauder-Frost then sends more messages referring to "aliens" and "British haters" and urging her to "go home".

He also said non-Europeans should be returned to their natural homelands.

Ms Sinha - who is now studying a Masters degree in Genetics - responds to messages from both Lauder-Forest and Hargrave, who holds extreme right wing views, - saying: "Both of you do not get the point. Try and research a bit more."

She adds another comment explaining why she feels she was able to comment: "Considering I am a genetist and got an education in this. You two are just plain racist."

Asked for her reaction to the views she was responding to, Ms Sinha replied:"Sadness I suppose.  Taken a bit aback.  Was not expecting it."

However she implied matters turned even more sinister when she received messages saying: "As the KGB say you are on the list," and "Don't get too comfortable."

Asked for her interpretation on those comments Ms Sinha said she took that as a threat saying: "No-one has the right to make those kind of comments. The KGB killed people on their list.  They tortured them and airbrushed them out of photos.

"Not only did he want me out of the country, he wanted me airbrushed from this country.

"I took the don't get too comfortable comment as a threat as well, the comments caused me to worry."

Ms Sinha - who insisted she was proud to be British - rejected the suggestion it was a general view saying that she was named in the comment and believed she was being targeted.

Under cross-examination from procurator fiscal Graham Fraser, Lauder-Frost gave his version of events about the Facebook exchange with the student 46 years his junior.

Asked if he made the comment "Please go Home" he replied: "Probably out of frustration."

He continued:"She kept going on and on and she was only half way through a downmarket university course on Genetics.

"I was insulted as she was lecturing us when she was making these comments."

Asked to clarify what he meant about Cardiff being a downmarket university Lauder-Frost - who  graduated from Oxford with a degree in Modern History and has a  doctorate at London - said: "Some are better than  others on a sliding scale, I am afraid."

The pensioner pointed out he did not know who Ms Sinha was but had only found out about her when she responded to the Facebook thread and checked her profile.

He added: "These debates are going on all the time on Facebook and I don't believe anyone takes them particularly seriously.  

"Obviously I have learned a lesson by being here today.

"Through this whole thread I felt Miss Sinda was being very very provocative."

When quizzed about the comment on no right of being in this country or arguing with a superior race he stated:"I felt she was arguing with the British and the Caucasians. 

"She was an alien in this country , my country, and putting forth insulting arguments.  She was postulating."

Asked to explain his comment about "what are you doing in my country" and " go back to your natural home and stop insulting us" he replied:"I was getting a bit tired.  You get these throw away comments on Facebook.  

"It's just amazing that this has ever reached court.

"It is a snowflake reaction.  These are throw away comments.  I never meant for this girl to be abused or to be in fear.  I don't even know where she lives or anything about her.

"It is a debate or an argument.

"We are going down a dark path trying to regulate speech.

"I don't see why you are singling me out."

Mr Fraser, summing up for the prosecution, said:"The accused fully accepts he made the observations and he behaved in a way he knew would offend her."

He highlighted the distress and upset caused by the messages adding:"he was responsible for that."

Defence lawyer Robert More contested his client had sent the messages in the context of being provoked but had stopped when asked to by the Ms Sinha's mother although she (Ms Sinha) had continued.

He said:"This was an intelligent young woman who was keen to get involved in a political debate but then having been offended decided to report the matter to the police.

"She did not stay out of the debate but continued.

"It does not prove there has been a contravention of Section 38 of the Act."

Finding him guilty following the four hour trial Sheriff Peter Paterson told Lauder-Frost he had "crossed the line" when he made the threatening comments which would have caused a reasonable person fear or alarm.

Regarding the racial element of the charge he said: "The comments are racist, they clearly are."

Sheriff Paterson gave Lauder-Frost, who receives £270-a-week income from pension payments, three months to pay the fine and compensation in full.

Lauder-Frost - who said he is the trustee of four charities and is the current chairman of Foulden, Mordington and Lamberton Community Council in Berwickshire - declined to comment on leaving court.