Brexit troll jailed for malicious messages to pro-EU MPs

PUBLISHED: 21:17 18 April 2019 | UPDATED: 21:17 18 April 2019

Labour MP David Lammy appearing on BBC One's Andrew Marr Show (Pic: BBC)

Labour MP David Lammy appearing on BBC One's Andrew Marr Show (Pic: BBC)

BBC

A Brexit-supporting troll who sent MPs death threats and racist messages has been jailed for nearly 10 months.

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Jarod Kirkman, 51, sent malicious messages to seven politicians, including former cabinet minister Nicky Morgan and Labour's David Lammy, Westminster Magistrates' Court heard.

Some, sent through the MPs' websites, had the subject lines “Brexit traitor” and “Brexit loser” with menacing email addresses such as MP@deadpoliticianwalking.com and putin@fsb.ru.

Unemployed Kirkman sent a message to Heidi Allen, of the Independent Group, saying: “Your days are f****** numbered bitch.

“Will it be polonium or novichok? Either way you will never know, expect it soon.”

The court also heard he told Mr Lammy: “Go back to the jungle n***** where you belong”, while another said “f*** off and die in the jungle”.

Kirkman sent threatening emails to Labour MPs Yvette Cooper and Jenny Chapman, Conservative Ms Morgan, former Tory Nick Boles, as well as Sarah Wollaston and Ms Allen of the Independent Group.

The messages, which were said to have also caused distress and anxiety to the MPs' staff who opened them, were all sent between December 4 2018 and January 21 this year.

Kirkman, of Torquay Drive in Luton, was arrested on January 29 after officers traced the messages to his home IP address.

He pleaded guilty to seven charges earlier this month.

Passing sentence at the same court, Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot said: “You're described essentially as a typical troll - sending odious messages but presenting as a pitiful figure.

“You deliberately targeted MPs, from the safety of your home you threatened them. Instead of expressing your views appropriately ... you chose to threaten to kill them.

“The message needs to go out that people who threaten MPs are threatening our democratic process.”

Kirkman, who sent emails from a personal email account, appeared to make no reaction as he was sentenced.

Prosecutor Andrea Scott-Lynch told the court: “It would appear the defendant was motivated to send these messages by the stance that each of these MPs took towards Brexit.”

Kirkman told Morgan “Your days are f****** numbered bitch, death will be swift,” the court heard.

After the sentencing, Morgan said: “There is a line between robust challenge to MPs and our views and actions and threatening to kill us for the job we are doing.

“Mr Kirkman crossed that line and I would like to thank the police for their prompt action to track him down and to the Chief Magistrate for her words about such threats being a threat to our democracy.

“I hope today's sentence sends out a message to anyone else who might think about making such threats that action will be taken.

“MPs will not be put off doing our best for our constituents and the country.”

In mitigation, Gregory Wedge said Kirkman acts as a carer for his mother, adding: “In this case, it's very clear this is a stupid man who made a series of stupid decisions.”

Kirkman was handed five weeks for each of the six counts of sending threatening messages to be served consecutively, making 30 weeks, as well as a 12-week custody sentence for the racist messages to Mr Lammy, for a total of 42 weeks in custody.

Kirkman, who has no previous convictions, was also ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £140.

He was handed a five-year restraining order not to contact any of the seven MPs.

In addition, he may not contact any MP in a threatening or intimidating manner.

David Lammy has said death threats and racist abuse, such as that sent to himself and other MPs by Jarod Kirkman, “have no place in our politics”.

“I take no pleasure in seeing members of the public jailed,” the Labour MP wrote on Twitter. “But death threats and racial abuse have no place in our politics.

“We will not be cowed.”

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