Man given jail sentence for stalking and harassing City of Chester MP Samantha Dixon

Samantha Dixon became an MP for City of Chester in December 2022. Credit: PA Images

A man who threatened to 'undermine' Labour's Samantha Dixon in her role as MP has been a handed jail sentence.

Benjamin Scott-Thrale, 32, from Chester, first contacted the City of Chester MP asking for help with a family problem in June 2023.

Mrs Dixon told Scott-Thrale later that month, she could do nothing more to assist and that he should seek legal advice.

Scott-Thrale began to harrass and stalk Mrs Dixon by making phone calls, sending emails and calling into her constituency office.

The police arrested and charged Scott-Thrale after he rang the MP's office again on 30 January 2024, saying he would continue to until he had a face to face meeting in which she helped him.

He was arrested and charged with stalking and harassment.

Scott-Thrale said: "What's the definition of stalking? It involves a course of conduct against one person. I haven't stalked one person."

Scott-Thrale was found guilty and was given a six-week custodial sentence at Warrington Magistrates' Court on 12 April 2024.

The jail sentence has been served after he was already in custody. He must also pay a victim surcharge of £154.

Senior Crown Prosecutor Simon Green, of CPS Mersey Cheshire, said: "The Crown Prosecution Service said that Benjamin Scott-Thrale pursued a deliberate and persistent campaign of stalking and harassment against his local MP when he realised she couldn't give him what he wanted.

"His constant emails, phone calls and visits to the office were meant to threaten her and leave her with the impression that he was always there, in the background and would continue to be.

"Requests from the MP and her staff to stop the contact and seek legal advice were ignored as was the formal request from the police.

"His behaviour became criminal and the CPS has successfully prosecuted him for it.

"Members of Parliament perform a vital role in our democracy and it is essential that they are able to represent their constituents without fear.

"The prosecution of people who threaten this is a key priority for the CPS. Benjamin Scott-Thrale jeopardised that role and now has a criminal record."

Scott-Thrale must comply with a 12-month Post Sentence Supervision. The court also agreed to a two-year restraining order.