Yorkshire men sent abusive messages to Labor MP Angela Rayner blaming her for the death of Sir David Amess, court hears Yorkshire News

Labor MP Rayner “broke into tears” and was left “very scared” after being blamed for the alleged murder of Sir David, who died after being stabbed multiple times while undergoing election surgery in October 2021.

Stuart Kelly, 53, from Halifax, and Michael McGrath, 70, from Sheffield, pleaded guilty on Thursday March 18 to sending offensive, indecent, obscene or threatening messages to Ashton-under-Lyne MP in Tameside.

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Westminster Magistrates Court heard that both men linked their comments at the Labor Party conference, calling the Conservatives “scum”, in September last year to Sir David, 69, stabbed to death in surgery in their district. Leigh-on-Sea election in Essex. .

On the day of her death, Kelly left three voice messages for Rayner, 41, at her constituency office over a 30-minute period.

One said: “I hope you get shot. You contributed to the death of him, you dirty scum”, and in another he told her: “Well done, he is the father of five children. Well done, you are a great deputy.”

In the third message, Kelly said, “Killer, fucking killer.”

Former barber McGrath sent an email to Ms. Rayner’s office in the early hours of the next morning calling her a “vile bitch” and a “tasteless left-handed scum”.

“I hope it never happens to you,” he wrote. “I bet you’ll be celebrating.”

Ms Rayner said in a statement that she is “no stranger” to criticism, which she generally sees as “people exercising their right to freedom of expression”.

“When I saw the content of the email along with the voicemails, I burst into tears,” he said. “It made me feel extremely upset.

“I think I have a pretty tough skin when it comes to insults and nasty comments, but this was in a whole different category.

“I am scared, not only for my own safety but also for the safety of my family, children and staff.

“This left me scared and made me question the work I do.”

She added: “The fact that these people are trying to link me to the death of an MP is absolutely devastating.

“Having people say that I am responsible for the death of David Amess has caused me genuine anguish.”

The court heard that, after being arrested, Kelly, from Halifax, West Yorkshire, said he had been “out for drinks” when he left the voicemails and had been feeling “quite angry and sad” at the death of Sir David.

He told police that he woke up the next morning, “remembered what he did and regretted it,” prosecutor Jonathan Bryan said.

Chief Magistrate Paul Goldspring granted Kelly, who has been in court 27 times for 50 offences, an unconditional bail while deferring sentencing until April 14, but warned him he will face jail time.

The court heard that McGrath, from Sheffield, who has bowel cancer, later sent an apologetic email to Ms Rayner.

He was given a six-week prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, and ordered to pay a total of £413 in costs and compensation, including £200 to the MP.

Goldspring told him: “I have no doubt, whether you are in public service as an MP or perhaps as a judge or a member of the royal family, that does not make you any less susceptible to attack or any less susceptible. to the feelings about that.”

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This notice was published: 2022-03-18 07:21:40

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