A Scots Brexit supporter and campaigner today (Tue) admitted sending a threatening, racist and homophobic message to a gay MP.
Geoffrey Farquharson, 37, left a minute-long voice-mail for Ben Bradshaw – yelling down the phone, swearing repeatedly and making threats.
In the message Farquharson said he has just watched a video on Facebook about Muslim extremism.
He then launched a homophobic tirade against Mr Bradshaw and repeatedly goaded the MP to call the police.
Farquharson, originally from St Andrews, also describes Mr Bradshaw as being “evil” and refers to the MP’s homosexuality throughout the rant.
The court heard the threats came the day before the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox.
The call was picked up by a member of the MP’s staff, who raised the alarm and played it to Mr Bradshaw.
Farquharson’s Facebook is peppered with pro-Brexit slogans and photos of him wearing a Britain Out T-shirt,
He pleaded guilty to sending an indecent or grossly offensive message left on the answerphone of Labour MP Bradshaw’s parliamentary office office on June 15.
The message made Mr Bradshaw fearful for the safety of his staff, Exeter Magistrates Court heard.
The MP made a victim impact statement in which he said he had received threats before and was less concerned for his own safety than for that of his staff.
He said he was particularly concerned for his staff at Labour headquarters at Clifton Hill in Exeter, where party staff had to deal with Farquharson.
And the MP said it was unacceptable that public servants should have to put up with threats and abuse of this level.
In mitigation, Sue Snow said Farquharson was suffering from mental health issues and was accompanied to court by his carer.
Addressing the court himself, Farquharson said: “I apologise for that call. I know that I should not have done that.”
District Judge Baker, sitting at the magistrates court, said she had considered immediate custody. But she called for a report to assess his mental health.
She said: “It was an extremely unpleasant call to make to an MP, a public servant, which was racist and homophobic.”
The case was adjourned for six weeks for the preparation of a psychiatric report.
Farquharson was bailed on condition that he does contact Mr Bradshaw, any of his staff at Labour headquarters in Exeter or travel to Westminster.