BREXIT CAMPAIGNER ADMITS SENDING THREATENING VOICEMAIL TO GAY MP

    BREXIT CAMPAIGNER ADMITS SENDING THREATENING VOICEMAIL TO GAY MP

    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.

      Tags:

      • Overseeing countless major stories that have spawned over a career more than three decades long, our editor Andrew became one of the UK’s youngest ever staff reporters when he landed a job on the Today newspaper during the mid-80s. With news in his veins and being the son of the great Daily Mirror journalist Syd Young, Andrew is now a director at news agency SWNS.

        • Show Comments (0)

        Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

        comment *

        • name *

        • email *

        • website *

        This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

        Ads

        You May Also Like

        Brits “Giving Burglars a Helping Hand”

        Brits are giving burglars a helping hand, according to a new report. Only a ...

        Pregnant women with whose blood pressure is even slightly raised can be dramatically more at risk of developing diabetes or heart disease, say scientists. In the first study of its kind a condition called pre-hypertension - where blood pressure is in the upper range of normal - has been shown to be potentially dangerous. Up to one-in-seven expectant mothers in the UK already suffer high blood pressure and the discovery could lead to many more requiring monitoring. Professor Jian-Min Niu, of Guangdong Women and Children Hospital in China, said: "Our findings underscore an important issue that has been long ignored in clinical practice - the fact criteria for hypertension in pregnancy are derived from the general population. "We anticipate if reaffirmed in further research, our study could spark a change in what we currently deem healthy blood pressure in pregnant women." The research found pregnant women whose blood pressure is in the upper ranges of normal could be at high risk of developing metabolic syndrome - a combination of diabetes, hypertension and obesity - and heart disease risk after giving birth. Current guidelines do not distinguish between pregnant women and the general population and define hypertension as persistently elevated blood pressure that is 140 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) systolic or 90 mm Hg diastolic and above. Readings of 120-139 mm Hg systolic over 80-89 mm Hg diastolic is deemed 'pre-hypertension' - a warning sign of high blood pressure in the future. But the study published in Hypertension said pregnant women with blood pressure in this range had 6.5 times greater odds of developing metabolic syndrome compared to those in the lower normal range. It looked at 507 Chinese women with uncomplicated pregnancies, no history of hypertension and normal blood sugar and cholesterol who underwent seven or more blood pressure measurements along with other standard tests including weight measurements and foetal ultrasounds. Blood sugar and cholesterol levels were also tested at the start, shortly before and after giving birth and once every few months for up to 1.6 years after giving birth. The participants were grouped into three categories including those whose blood pressure remained on the lower end of normal (34%), around the mid-point (52%) or in the pre-hypertension range (13%). A series of snapshot measurements did not predict future risk but patterns of repeated elevations did - highlighting the dynamic nature of blood pressure during pregnancy. The results support the idea of pregnancy as a cardiovascular stress test for women that can reveal underlying disturbances in blood pressure regulation, glucose and cholesterol metabolism. Abnormalities in all three areas can disrupt functions and lead to full-blown cardiovascular disease years down the road. Prof Niu said globally the burden of cardio-metabolic diseases in women has been rising steadily over the last decades. He said: "Blood pressure measurements are already done as matter of routine and cost-effective checkups during pregnancy so our findings underscore this tool's potential to gauge a woman's post-partum cardiovascular risk. "Early identification of metabolic risk factors and implementation of lifestyle modifications may help delay the onset of cardiovascular disease that would present itself 20 to 30 years after delivery."

        SCOTLAND ONLY CARRYING OUT FRACTION OF GASTRIC BAND OPS

        Scotland is only carrying out a fraction of the gastric band operations it should ...

        OBESITY 'CAUSES DISEASES IN ORGANS FAR FROM FAT'

        HEALTHY DIETS STOP HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE IN PREGNANT DIABETIC MUMS

        Mums with pregnancy-related diabetes need to eat more fruits, vegetables and fish to prevent ...

        Login