Man, 33, jailed for sending threatening emails to female politician

A 33-year-old man has been jailed for seven months after sending threatening emails to a female politician.

Liam McCarthy, of Copperfield Road, Southampton, “continuously” sent emails and left voicemails for Conservative politician Caroline Nokes between May 15 2022 and March 4 2023.

Ms Nokes was the MP for Romsey and Southampton North at the time of the offending, and is currently standing for re-election.

McCarthy also left threatening voicemails for Steve Smith, former head of stronger communities, neighbourhoods and housing, at Southampton City Council between November 14 and 21 2022.

Liam McCarthy court case
Liam McCarthy, of Copperfield Road, Southampton,has been jailed (Andrew Matthews/PA)

He pleaded guilty to harassment at a previous court hearing.

He was jailed for seven months at Southampton Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, the CPS said.

Victoria Hill, prosecuting, previously told the court that the defendant first contacted Ms Nokes to raise a “lack of support for people aged between 18 and 25”.

Ms Hill said: “He moved on to talk about issues he was having with the Department of Work and Pensions and a debt collection agency.

“They didn’t end up seeing one another because the defendant cancelled his appointment because he felt unprepared.

“The emails continued and in August 2022 they started to become threatening.

“At that stage the defendant was saying he would become violent towards members of the Department for Work and Pensions, he said he would kill them, he followed that up by saying he wouldn’t kill them but would really hurt them.

“Caroline Nokes (then) MP responded saying she wouldn’t tolerate threatening or abusive emails but the emails continued from August into September in the same vein.

“There were repeated emails over quite some period. At one point he was threatening to destroy another MP, Alan Whitehead. He was making implied threats to her saying she was on his list along with other people.

“He was eventually arrested with bail conditions not to contact her and continued to contact her.”

Describing the voicemails to Mr Smith, Ms Hill said: “They were more overtly threatening. He said things like, ‘I will find you, I will f****** destroy you, I swear to god, I mean that as a threat.”