We appreciate some people will find the language in this article offensive. However, in Scotland today we do not believe the foul abuse victims of hate crimes receive should be covered up. 

A COUPLE have said they are horrified after receiving a hateful, homophobic letter to their store demanding a refund due to their sexuality

The shop owners, husband and husband pair Michael Burns and Stephen Whyteside, received the shocking piece of mail on Thursday morning. 

Staff at the store, who opened the envelope directed to Special Days Cakes in Uddingston, were distraught and upset after reading the contents, which threatened that the company "should be shut down". 

Evening Times: Michael, left, and Stephen, rightMichael, left, and Stephen, right

After showroom workers called Michael, 52, and Stephen, 41, the happy couple reported the hate crime to police, who are now said to be investigating the package sent to the store on Old Edinburgh Road. 

The shocking letter, which we have printed below, contains multiple anti-gay slurs and reports disgust at Michael and Stephen's sexuality. 

In it, the writer tells that if they had known they were gay they would have "given the shop a wide berth". 

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It goes on: "I will be returning to get my money back as I don't want any of your hands near any food. 

"You should be shut down." 

Just 24 hours after getting the note, Michael and Stephen say they are still shaken up. 

Showroom manager Stephen said: "Staff opened the letter and were very upset, especially when they had to tell us what it contained. Having to read this and then call us, it is terrible. 

Evening Times: Special Days CakesSpecial Days Cakes

"I started laughing at first, I just thought it couldn't be real. You don't get letters like that. 

"I'm just so shocked that someone would take the time to do anything like this. 

"This is not something that ever happens. We've not had any disagreements with customers, they're not the type to do that. The fact that we're a couple isn't hidden, it is promoted. 

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"It seems someone has gone out of their way to target us with this hate crime. 

"For the first time in forever we had a terrible nights sleep - we were both up checking cameras. We were worried if someone has gone to the effort to find out shop, why not our home?"

The couple, from Bothwell, have been together for 19 years and will celebrate their tenth wedding anniversary in December. 

Evening Times: Michael and Stephen on their wedding dayMichael and Stephen on their wedding day

Michael, who started Special Days Cakes 26 years ago in his home town, welcomed Stephen onto the team nearly 15 years ago, and the pair say they have never hidden their relationship from customers. 

Police have now been made aware of the incident, and will speak to the owners on Friday afternoon about the note. 

A spokeswoman for the force said: "We can confirm that a complaint was received on Thursday, September 19, 2019, and enquiries are ongoing into this hate crime."

However, despite the hateful letter, which is printed below, the couple say they have been reassured by the kind messages of support they have had online, where Michael's photo of the letter has been shared almost 1,000 times. 

Stephen added: "Police have been really good and they are coming out this afternoon to take the letter for fingerprints and DNA testing. 

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"We're involved in community and charity work - people know we are a couple!

"This is not something we've ever dealt with before or ever had to hide. I was brought up in a Scotland where it was okay to be who you are. This is the first time I have felt otherwise. 

"But we have had messages of support on social media - other cake shops in London have even written to us . It's great to be somewhere where people stand by you. 

"Both of us are upbeat, but it's still in the back of our mind. Why did they go to all of this effort?" 

Evening Times: The letter received by Michael and StephenThe letter received by Michael and Stephen

The letter, which is addressed to the store and was stamped and posted, reads: 

Dear poofs, 

If I had known that you were fucking gay then I would have given your shop a wide berth. 

I will be returning to get my money back as I don't want any of your hands near any food. 

You should be shut down. 

Ya fucking queer poofy pricks. 

For any help or advice on issues touched upon in this article, visit the Equality Network's LGBT Helpline or email helpline@lgbthealth.org.uk. Alternatively, you can call 0300 123 2523 (open every Tuesday and Wednesday between 12-9pm). ​