Politician death threats man Wajid Shah jailed

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image copyrightGetty Images

image captionTheresa May said she felt anxious after Shah sent a message threatening to kill her

A man who threatened to kill Theresa May while she was prime minister has been jailed.

Wajid Shah emailed Mrs May with the threat and sent similar messages to ex-home secretary Lord Blunkett, Baroness Lister, MPs Tan Dhesi and Caroline Nokes, and former MP Mark Lancaster.

He was sentenced to two years in jail, after a trial at Southwark Crown Court.

image copyrightThames Valley Police

image captionThe judge said Shah had a "very low IQ and severe learning difficulties" but did not suffer from mental health problems

In a victim impact statement read to the court by prosecutor Barry McElduff, Mrs May said the "extremely offensive, threatening and disturbing" message to her left her "feeling anxious and concerned".

She explained she had received abusive messages before, but "what made this one different was the explicit and repeated threat to kill me".

'Gun or knife'

"The fact it came close to my constituency raised me concern," she said.

Shah, of Connaught Road, Slough, had denied six counts of sending a letter/communication or article conveying a threatening message.

image copyrightLabour Party / Getty Images

image captionLord Blunkett, Caroline Nokes and Tan Dhesi were among the MPs sent similar messages

The court heard he sent emails to the politicians that contained racial slurs and threats to kill them "with a gun or a knife".

In messages to his local MP Mr Dhesi and former armed forces minister Lord Lancaster, Shah said he would chop their heads off, which led to Mr Dhesi being advised by police to leave his constituency office.

Mr McElduff said the email to Ms Nokes, a former immigration minister, "weighed heavy on her mind" and she "drew comparisons... with the events that led to the tragic death of Jo Cox MP".

'Very low IQ"

Shah sent Lord Blunkett two emails and abused him for being blind, the prosecutor added.

He also made attempts to send more emails, including to Boris Johnson, which were intercepted, it was heard.

Judge Philip Bartle QC told the court the defendant's "motivation" for sending the emails to the politicians was to assist his mother with "immigration matters" and the "UK citizens' test".

He said the defendant had "chose the recipients carefully" through their links through previous or current immigration work.

The judge said Shah sent the emails under different names, including that of his father, to "get back" at him following a family dispute.

He added Shah maintained he was innocent, had a "very low IQ and severe learning difficulties", but did not suffer from mental health problems.

'Violent and graphic'

Det Insp Will Crowther, based at Slough police station, said the messages were "horrendous" and "absolutely shocking".

The Thames Valley Police officer added: "Even after his first arrest, Shah continued to offend, sending further messages which were threatening serious violence and death to the recipients.

"Shah felt that he could hide behind a keyboard of a computer to send these messages, and his intention was very clear that he wanted to cause great distress.

"The messages are too violent and graphic to describe, but would no doubt have caused tremendous upset. One of the messages even forced the evacuation of a building, such were the nature of the threats."

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