Man who said he would kill a gay MP spared jail

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A Brexit campaigner who threatened to kill an out gay Labour MP Ben Bradshaw spared jail. Geoffrey Farquharson left a voice mail message for Exeter MP Ben Bradshaw in which he swore, yelled and made repeated threats, Exeter Magistrates court heard. It happened not so long time after Joe Cox was murdered. Farquharson said his name and address before telling Mr Bradshaw how he was sick of seeing children “killed by Muslims”. Turning his attention on the parliamentarian, he shouted a number of homophobic jibes, called him “evil”, threatened to kill him and challenged him to call the police.

Rob Jacobs, the defendant’s lawyer, claims his client to be suffering from mental health disorders. “It is true that Mr Farquharson’s views are somewhat strongly held,” he said. “He would say himself he is a particularly caring individual who cares for others, strangers, people of all races and religions. He would say that this call was not motivated by self-interest but interests of others. His frustration, anger and annoyance at what he has been reading in the press about vulnerable people caused him on the spur of the moment to telephone Ben Bradshaw’s office. It is offensive and Mr Farquharson acknowledges it is totally unacceptable. None of this would have happened if he had not been suffering the problems and vulnerabilities he has. He doesn’t hold homophobic views. The words used were an expression and manifestation of his anger.”

District Judge Stephen Nicholls sentenced Farquarson to a 12-week suspended prison sentence, 25 hours community service and banned him from the area where Mr Bradshaw’s constituency is based.

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