Norfolk man could face jail over tirade of abuse against Jewish MPs
- Credit: PA
A Norfolk man has admitted to abusing three Jewish MPs, including labelling one “a racist Zionist” in a foul-mouthed telephone rant, a court heard.
Nicholas Nelson, 31, of North Walsham, appeared at Westminster Magistrates Court charged with three counts of sending communications of an offensive nature in 2018 - aimed at three Jewish members of the Labour Party.
Nelson pleaded guilty to the counts at a hearing at Bristol Magistrates’ Court last month, relating to abuse against Barking MP Dame Margaret Hodge and two other party members - Dame Louise Ellman and Lord John Mann.
The court heard how Nelson had made a foul-mouthed telephone call to Ms Hodge’s office on July 18, 2018, which was answered by her parliamentary assistant.
In it he said: “You need to get out of the party and I hope you die. Margaret Hodge is an apartheid-supporting disgusting scumbag.”
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The court also heard how he had also sent abusive emails to the MP’s office, leading to her feeling “under threat”.
In statement read out by prosecutor Simon Maughan, she said: “After reading them I felt disturbed and rather shocked at the vitriol expressed.
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“I considered the emails to be threatening an was left feeling nervous and unsure about my safety. For the first time, I now feel under threat because of my Jewish identity.”
Nelson’s tirade of abuse against the trio also included an abusive voicemail to Mr Mann’s office in which he said: “Kill yourself. When are you going to have a stroke?”
In a statement also read out to the court, Mr Mann sad: “I call out racism and anti-semitism but the abuse and threats of violence have led to my staff asking me not to do so.”
Julian Young, defending Nelson, said his client had “undiagnosed psychiatric difficulties” at the time of the offences and his mental health issues are now being dealt with by medication and treatment.
He said “My client has given me written instructions and tenders a full apology to the three victims to the harm caused by his comments.”
Chairman of the bench Emma Arbuthnot adjourned sentencing to November 25 and told Nelson that all options are open, including a jail sentence.