Man jailed after sending MP threatening emails

A man has been jailed for sending threatening emails to a female MP.

Liam McCarthy, 33, of Copperfield Road in Southampton, admitted "continuously" sending emails and leaving voicemails for Caroline Nokes, Conservative MP for Romsey and Southampton North, between between 15 May 2022 and 4 March 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 was jailed for seven months at Southampton Magistrates' Court on Wednesday, the Crown Prosecution Service said.

Caroline Nokes
Ms Nokes has said previously that she is fearful for candidates' safety in the upcoming general election [BBC]

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

"He moved on to talk about issues he was having with the Department of Work and Pensions and a debt collection agency," she continued.

"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, the court heard.

"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," Ms Hill said.

Ms Nokes responded saying she would not tolerate threatening or abusive emails but Mr McCarthy continued to send emails into September.

Ms Hill said: "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."

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

Describing the voicemails to Mr Smith, Ms Hill said: "They were more overtly threatening. He said things like, 'I will find you, I will [expletive] destroy you. I swear to god, I mean that as a threat."

Ms Nokes previously said she was fearful for candidates' safety in the upcoming general election campaign and was worried that others would come under personal attack.

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