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Dublin: 8°C Tuesday 19 January 2021

Brexit supporter jailed for death threats and abusive calls to 'anti-Brexit' MPs

The man has been jailed for 18 weeks.

Image: Tim Ireland/PA Wire/PA Images

A BREXIT-SUPPORTING BRITISH man has been jailed after sending abusive and threatening voice messages. 

Sixty-four-year old Robert Vidler, who supports Brexit, was found guilty of harassing the staff of a range of UK politicians, including the Conservative Party’s Dominic Grieve and Nicky Morgan, as well as Labour’s Barry Gardiner and Sir Keir Starmer. 

In total, six MPs were targeted with calls or voicemail messages that threatened to harm or kill them. 

The messages and calls were taken by staff working for the MPs, who Vidler saw as opposing or blocking Brexit. 

Vidler was sentenced to 18 weeks in prison for harassing the staff of anti-Brexit MPs. 

In a voicemail message left for the MP Nick Boles, Vidler said he knew where he lived and threatened to kill him if he didn’t “keep his nose out of Brexit”.

Starmer, who is the shadow Brexit secretary, was called “a traitor”, while government minister Morgan was told that her “days were numbered”.

Vidler pleaded not guilty to harassment and to sending menacing or obscene messages over a public communications network. 

A voicemail message for Gardiner said: “No deal means no deal. The only thing that will be extended is your neck.”

Some of the nine voicemail messages left for Dominic Grieve contained threats of violence and Vidler said he knew where the MP and his family lived and his schedule.

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Sarah Jennings from the Crown Prosecution Service said that Vidler’s “actions went far beyond than just expressing his opinion”. 

“Staff felt alarmed by what he said and took his comments as threats against the MPs,” she said. 

Alongside his 18-week sentence, Vidler was also ordered to pay £300 in costs and was made the subject of a criminal behaviour order preventing him from contacting any MP except his own.

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