Jeremy Corbyn supporter bursts into tears as he is spared jail after calling Jewish Labour MP Margaret Hodge a ‘racist Zionist’ in terrifying anti-Semitic trolling campaign
- Nicholas Nelson, 31, from Norfolk, targeted three MPs in a campaign of trolling
- He targeted Margaret Hodge, John Mann and Louise Ellman via calls and emails
- Nelson admitted to three counts of sending offensive communications in 2018
- Nelson had a suspended sentence for abusing Luciana Berger and Ruth Smeeth
Nicholas Nelson, 31, targeted three Labour MPs with ‘vulgar, obscene and threatening’ abuse via
A Jeremy Corbyn supporter today burst into tears as he was spared jail after calling Jewish Labour MP Dame Margaret Hodge a ‘racist Zionist’ in a terrifying anti-Semitic trolling campaign.
Nicholas Nelson targeted three Labour MPs with ‘vulgar, obscene and threatening’ abuse through phone calls and emails.
In one incident the 31-year-old rang the office of Dame Margaret and said: ‘I hope you die, you Tory c***.
Along with Dame Margaret, Nelson also abused then Labour MPs Lord John Mann and Dame Louise Ellman – who he accused of ‘smearing’ then party leader Jeremy Corbyn.
Nelson had previously given a suspended sentence in December 2018 for trolling then Labour MPs Luciana Berger and Ruth Smeeth.
But he was spared prison once more today after he admitted three counts of sending communications of an offensive nature.
Deputy Chief Magistrate Tan Ikram sentenced Nelson, from Norfolk, to 30 weeks’ imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, at Westminster Magistrates’ Court.
The court heard how the offences took place between July and September 2018.
The charges relate to phone calls and emails to Dame Margaret, MP for Barking, east London, Dame Louise and Lord Mann, who were also both Labour MPs at the time.
The charges relate to phone calls and emails to Dame Margaret (pictured left), MP for Barking, east London, Dame Louise and Lord Mann (pictured right), who were also both Labour MPs at the time.
The court heard how the offences took place between July and September 2018. Pictured: Dame Louise Ellman, who was one of those targeted by Nelson
Prosecutor Jason Seetal said the offence against Dame Margaret, who is Jewish, was ‘religiously aggravated’, highlighting a phone call to her office in July 2018.
Nelson said: ‘Margaret should f*** off, you f***ing racist Zionist c***. You need to get out of the party and I hope you die, you Tory c***.’
In a further phone call the same day, Nelson added: ‘Margaret Hodge is an apartheid-supporting disgusting scumbag bitch.’
Dame Margaret said in a victim impact statement: ‘I considered the emails to be threatening and was left feeling nervous and unsure about my personal safety.
‘For the first time, I now feel under threat because of my Jewish identity.’
The court heard Dame Louise’s parliamentary assistant said she felt ‘extremely uncomfortable and distressed’ after reading an email sent by Nelson on August 2 2018.
‘Louise Ellman is a hypocritical Tory c*** who is so thick she is trying to smear Corbyn with an event she herself attended,’ it said.
Lord Mann received an abusive phone message, played in court, on September 3 2018, which said: ‘Kill yourself. When are you going to have a stroke?’
In sentencing Nelson, magistrates Mr Ikram said he would not repeat the words used, adding: ‘They are the most vulgar, obscene, threatening vocabulary I can think of.’
Nelson was handed a 20-week prison sentence, suspended for a year, in December 2018 after admitting harassing Jewish then Labour MPs Luciana Berger (pictured left) and Ruth Smeeth (pictured right) in March and April that year.
He said: ‘I’m of the view that these offences are so serious that they cross the custody threshold.
‘People should feel able to come forward and serve as MPs without fear of violence and threat. Certain communities have felt particularly under threat.
‘And these courts will send a clear message to those who threaten members of those communities, who attack them because of their faith.’
The judge said that he would have jailed Nelson had he sentenced him for all of the offences in 2018.
But he added: ‘I have considered carefully whether I can suspend the sentences and I felt just about able to do so.
‘That doesn’t take away the seriousness of the offences.
‘That simply reflects we are now two years down the road, that there have been no further offences and that I see you are now seeking the assistance of a psychiatrist and dealing with issues you say were a feature of your life then.’
Julian Young, defending Nelson, who was supported by his parents in court, said: ‘He’s ashamed of his conduct.’
He read a letter from Nelson, which said: ‘I want to offer a full apology to Louise Ellman, Margaret Hodge and John Mann for the harm caused by my conduct.
He shifted in his seat and appeared to cringe when audio of his rants were played to the court, and began to cry when he was told he was not going to prison.
Nelson, of North Walsham in Norfolk, was also sentenced to a 30-day rehabilitation order, 240 hours of unpaid work and told to pay a total of £200 in victim surcharge and costs.
Nelson was handed a 20-week prison sentence, suspended for a year, in December 2018 after admitting harassing Jewish then Labour MPs Luciana Berger and Ruth Smeeth in March and April that year.
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