OAP given suspended sentence over racist and threatening emails to MPs

Pensioner David Hall, as he arrives at Walsall Magistrates' Court, for his trial after he sent racist and threatening emails to six MPs. Photo credit: Matthew Cooper/PA Wire
Pensioner David Hall, as he arrives at Walsall Magistrates' Court, for his trial after he sent racist and threatening emails to six MPs. Photo credit: Matthew Cooper/PA Wire
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A retired engineer who sent racist and threatening emails to six MPs - including some with an image of a noose attached - has been given a nine-week suspended jail sentence.

David Hall admitted sending six grossly offensive messages, including one warning Labour's David Lammy to "remember what happened to Jo Cox" and others saying four Tory MPs deserved to hang for "treachery" over Brexit legislation.

The 72-year-old, of Windsor Gardens, Castlecroft, Wolverhampton, had denied six charges of sending grossly offensive and menacing messages, but changed his plea to guilty at Walsall Magistrates' Court.

The court was told the Ukip supporter was cautioned for threatening behaviour in 2011 after getting involved in an altercation while putting political leaflets and posters on lampposts near his home.

The pensioner sent emails last December to Nicky Morgan, Dominic Grieve, David Lammy, Anna Soubry and Heidi Allen, in the wake of an EU withdrawal bill vote in parliament.

Hall, who appeared in the dock wearing a leather jacket, slacks and slip-on shoes, also sent an email to Wolverhampton MP Eleanor Smith last July, calling for her to be put on "the first banana boat" to the "jungle clearing you came from".

Mr Lammy and Ms Morgan attended court and had been expected to give evidence against Hall until his change of plea.

Opening the facts of the case against Hall, prosecutor Matthew Brook said the email to Ms Smith was sent after she made critical comments about the Black Country's flag, which bears an image of chains.

The court heard that the email to Mr Lammy read: "I would like to give you a friendly warning. As you attack the White population of Britain in your aims to gain Black Supremacy in this country, remember what happened to Jo Cox.

"I AM NOT ONE OF THEM but there are those out there who would like to see you suffer the same fate. Be careful!!"

Labour MP Jo Cox was murdered in her Batley and Spen constituency by Thomas Mair in 2016.

Another email was sent to several MPs after a parliamentary vote on an amendment to the EU Withdrawal Bill last year.

Littered with capital letters and exclamation marks, the email had the subject line "YOUR BACK STABBING TREACHERY" and read: "You deserve to be HUNG for your attack on our democracy yesterday. WE VOTED OUT OUT OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and your attack on the British VOTE to leave the PARASITIC FRAUDSTERS in the EU amounts to an act of TREASON.

"In WW2 you would have 'SWUNG' for this act of TREACHERY - You join a long list of British TRAITORS - MAY YOU BURN IN HELL FOR ETERNITY."

As well as being handed a jail term suspended for 12 months, Hall was ordered to complete 25 days of rehabilitation work and pay £735 in costs and a victim surcharge.

Sentencing Hall, chairman of the bench Paul Wooding said: "This was a series of highly offensive emails sent to public servants involving a racial element.

"For these reasons we deem it so serious that it has crossed the custody threshold."

Before sentence was passed, defence lawyer Adil Khan told the court Hall had been angered by comments linking the chains on the Black Countrys flag to the slave trade.

Hall declined to comment as he left court.