Man who left Angela Rayner voicemail calling her 'f****** Scouse scumbag' jailed

Ms Rayner was left scared out of her wits after being targeted by Stuart Kelly

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A man who blamed Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner for the murder of Sir David Amess in a string of abusive phone calls has been jailed for eight weeks.

The MP for Ashton-under-Lyne, in Tameside, said she “burst into tears” and was left “scared out of her wits” after being targeted by Stuart Kelly, 53.

Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard he linked 41-year-old Ms Rayner’s comments at the Labour Party conference, calling Conservatives “scum”, in September last year to the death of Sir David, 69.

On October 15 last year, the day the veteran Tory MP was stabbed to death at a surgery in his Leigh-on-Sea constituency in Essex by terrorist Ali Harbi Ali, 26, Kelly left three voicemail messages at Ms Rayner’s constituency office.

Angela Rayner
Angela Rayner

One said: “I hope your potty mouth and your big Scouse gob is happy that a father of five children is dead you scum.

“You are the only scum on this earth. I hope you get shot just like that poor bloke.

“You contributed to his death, you dirty scum.”

In another, Kelly called Ms Rayner a “f****** Scouse scumbag”, while in a third he said: “Murderer, f****** murderer.”

The machine operator pleaded guilty to sending offensive, indecent, obscene or menacing messages to Ms Rayner at Westminster Magistrates’ Court last month alongside Michael McGrath, 70, who sent an abusive email to Ms Rayner’s office.

Ms Rayner said in a statement that she is “no stranger” to criticism and has developed a “thick skin” during her career.

Angela Rayner
Angela Rayner

“When I saw the content of the email and voicemails I burst into tears,” she said. “I am scared out of my wits, not only for my own safety but also the safety of my family, children and staff.

“This has left me frightened and caused me to question the job I do.”

Ms Rayner said she was left frightened to leave her house, adding: “As a result of the hateful emails and calls I have received, it has completely changed me as a person.

“The fact these people are trying to link the death of an MP to me is absolutely devastating.

“Over the last five years I have seen two close colleagues stabbed to death in the line of duty.”

Chief Magistrate Paul Goldspring jailed Kelly, who has previously been to court 27 times for 50 offences, for eight weeks on Thursday and handed him a two-year restraining order against the MP.

He said: “These are not expressions of simple political disagreement or upset about a failure to deal with a constituency matter or even a balanced criticism of the comments attributed to Ms Rayner.

“They are offensive, menacing and contain a reference to wishing her to be shot.”

Mr Goldspring referenced the remarks of the judge who sentenced Sir David’s killer to a whole life term on Wednesday, who said the murder “struck at the heart of our democracy”

Mr Goldspring said: “So does offending of this type against an MP just because you disagree with something she said.”

The court heard that after he was arrested, Kelly, from Halifax, West Yorkshire, said he had “been out for a few drinks” when he left the voicemails and had been feeling “quite angry and sad” about Sir David’s death.

Zaki Hashmi, defending, said: “The behaviour was inexcusable, Mr Kelly was drunk. That is an explanation rather than a justification for what he did.”

McGrath, from Sheffield, was previously handed a six-week prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, and ordered to pay a total of £413 in costs and compensation, including £200 to the MP.