AN ANONYMOUS hate-mail stalking campaign has prompted a Moray councillor to quit, sparking a police investigation.
Lossiemouth SNP councillor Carolle Ralph confirmed she is to step down after a "vicious, bullying and personal campaign of intimidation" following her election victory in May this year.
The police are now probing a series of letters and their investigation is also understood to be focusing on social media.
Councillor Ralph said: "There comes a point where enough is enough. I stood for the council to work for the community not to become a target for vicious bullying and a personal campaign of intimidation.
"My family life has been put under an unacceptable amount of stress as a direct result of this stalking, and I am not prepared to carry on in these circumstances."
"It is one of the hardest things I have ever had to do, especially given my commitment to this community which I love and which all my life has always been so important to me.
"I have received the kindest support from people in Lossiemouth and throughout the ward as well as from SNP colleagues," she added.
Councillor Ralph urged anyone with information which might help the police inquiry to contact them.
The former social worker was elected to Moray Council for the first time on May 3, to serve the Heldon and Laich Ward, along with Conservative Allan Wright and Independents Eric McGillivray and Chris Tuke.
There was shock when sitting SNP councillor and chairman of the Save RAF Lossiemouth campaign, David Stewart, failed to win re-election after the Nationalists chose to put two candidates up in a number of key wards. Three other sitting SNP members also lost their seats.
In the immediate aftermath of the election, Councillor Ralph, who was devastated at being elected at the expense of her Save RAF Lossie colleague, was unable to attend meetings due to ill health but eventually took her seat in the council chamber.
A spokeswoman for Grampian Police said: "Grampian Police can confirm that we have received a complaint and that enquiries into the matter are currently ongoing."
For more reaction to Carolle Ralph's decision to quit in Lossiemouth and Moray political circles, see 'The Northern Scot' newspaper.