Brexit-supporting pensioner admits sending pro-EU Anna Soubry a death threat email referencing murdered MP Jo Cox – but denies it was threatening
- Brexiteer Keith Willard, 73, sent email to then-MP Anna Soubry in August 2019
- Willard’s email did not reach Soubry but was seen by a team at the Met Police
- Pensioenr admitted sending message but he denied the email was threatening
- Willard, of Frinton, Essex, was found guilty of conveying a threatening message
Keith Willard sent the message in August last year to then-MP Anna Soubry – a former Conservative MP for Broxtowe, Notts, who later became leader of independent party Change UK
A Brexiteer pensioner, 73, sent a ‘threatening’ email to a pro-EU party leader telling her to ‘remember Jo’ – in what is thought to have been a reference to murdered MP Jo Cox.
Keith Willard sent the message in August last year to then-MP Anna Soubry – a former Conservative MP for Broxtowe, Notts, who later became leader of independent party Change UK.
In the email, the pensioner, of Frinton, Essex, wrote that the result of the EU referendum should be respected.
He also told Miss Soubry to ‘remember Jo’, adding that she had been ‘shot and stabbed’.
The email is believed to have been a reference to the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox in June 2016.
But while Willard, of Frinton, Essex, accepted he had sent the email, he denied it was ‘threatening’.
The pensioner had been due to stand trial earlier this year at Colchester Magistrates’ Court, after denying a charge of sending an article conveying a threatening message.
It was accepted Willard had sent the email, but he denied it was threatening or that it was meant to cause alarm or distress.
Willard said in the email to Miss Soubry (pictured left) to ‘remember Jo’, adding that she had been ‘shot and stabbed’. The email is believed to have been a reference to the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox (pictured right) in June 2016
His trial in January was adjourned due to his poor health.
But following a recent trial at the same court, he was convicted of the offence.
Willard has now been hit with a £300 fine and ordered to pay the same in costs, as well as a £32 victim surcharge.
Jo Cox’s killer Thomas Mair, 57, He was found guilty in November 2016 of murder and sentenced to life in prison
It is understood the message had not actually got to Ms Soubry – who was elected to Parliament as a Conservative before defecting to the new party.
In fact, it had been seen by the Metropolitan Police’s Parliamentary liaison and investigation team which was set up in the wake of Mrs Cox’s death.
Ms Soubry lost her seat in the December 2019 General Election and announced her new political group would be suspended.
Mother-of-two, Ms Cox, was shot dead with an antique gun outside a West Yorkshire library in 2016.
Her killer, Thomas Mair, 57, spent hours looking up information on the Nazis, the Ku Klux Klan and other white supremacist organisations before brutally attacking the MP in her hometown of Batley, West Yorkshire.
He was found guilty in November 2016 of murder and sentenced to life in prison.