1. ITV Report

Man who made death threat to Labour MP walks free from court

A man who admitted leaving homophobic and racist abuse on the answer phone of Ben Bradshaw has avoided a jail sentence.

37-year-old Geoffrey Farquharson left a message of "venom" on the MP's parliamentary office phone just a day before fellow MP Jo Cox was killed.

The two minute rant ended with Farquharson warning Mr Bradshaw - "I will kill you".

Farquharson filmed himself making a number of phone calls Credit: Youtube/Farquharson

In the call the bearded defendant, who lives in Exeter city centre, branded Muslims a "problem" and could be heard shouting he was "sick of people being killed" by them.

He then made vile and derogatory comments about Mr Bradshaw’s sexual preferences adding he liked "Muslims here".

He went on to make the death threat.

Mr Bradshaw said he was sad and disgusted at the message Credit: PA

Farquharson, of Fore Street, admitted sending a communication of an indecent or offensive nature.

He was jailed for 12 weeks, suspended for two years and given a community order with 25 days rehabilitation activity.

He was also given an indefinite restraining order, banning any contact with Mr Bradshaw, or going anywhere near the Labour Party office.

Farquharson was warned he faced five years in jail if he breaches the ban. He was also ordered to pay £250 compensation and £85 costs.

Credit: Liz Cooke

I accept the call was made before that sad incident when Jo Cox was fatally injured.

– District Judge Stephen Nicholls

In a victim impact statement Mr Bradshaw said he was sad and disgusted at the message, which he dubbed “homophobic, Islamophobic, and racist”.

The MP said he had received death threats in the past and was “not unduly concerned about myself” but anxious about his staff, especially in the atmosphere of increased anxiety after the death of Jo Cox.

Farquharson is a very vulnerable and lonely individual with rather too much time on his hands to think and ruminate on his political views, which are somewhat strongly held.

He would say he is not homophobic or racist. He lost his temper and acted out of frustration, anger and annoyance in making the call.

It is an unpleasant offence and he acknowledges it was totally unacceptable.

– Rob Jacobs, defending
Farquharson outside of court Credit: ITV West Country