Man who sent homophobic death threats to gay MP Ben Bradshaw spared jail
A Brexit campaigner who threatened to kill a Labour MP in the days after Jo Cox’s murder has been spared jail.
Just hours after the Batley and Spen MP was brutally shot and stabbed in her constituency, 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.
In the recording, that was played to the court, 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 repeatedly challenged Mr Bradshaw to call the police.
He was arrested and charged on June 17, just days after the incident occurred.
Rob Jacobs, defending, said his 37-year-old client suffers from a number of mental health problems and was a “vulnerable and lonely” person.
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“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.