Murder threat to Tory hustings as police arrest a woman who told Conservative candidate she felt like ‘f***ing killing’ him
- Woman has been arrested after threatening to murder a Conservative candidate
- Susan Gidman told Jack Brereton she felt like ‘f***ing killing’ at public meeting
- She was arrested at home after other shocked audience members dialled 999
A woman was arrested after threatening to murder a Conservative candidate at a public election meeting.
Susan Gidman told Jack Brereton to his face that she felt like ‘f***ing killing’ him in front of shocked party campaigners.
She was arrested at home after other audience members called 999 and has now accepted a police caution for using threatening behaviour and using insulting words.
Last night Mr Brereton, who is standing for re-election in Stoke-on-Trent South, told the Daily Mail: ‘Obviously everybody is very passionate at this point but there is no need for any threats or intimidation – that is unacceptable in our politics. It’s not something that you expect in a hustings and was quite worrying, really.
Susan Gidman (pictured) has been arrested after she told Jack Brereton to his face that she felt like ‘f***ing killing’ him in front of shocked party campaigners
Jack Brereton (pictured) is standing for re-election in Stoke-on-Trent South
‘I’d like to thank Staffordshire Police for the robust action they have taken against this individual.’
Mrs Gidman, 50, had been in the audience for the event at the Florence Sports & Social Club in Stoke last Wednesday where Mr Brereton and Labour challenger Mark McDonald were grilled by voters.
She is not a Labour Party member but witnesses said she had declared herself a supporter of barrister Mr McDonald during questioning.
She was also pictured with the Labour candidate at a recent town hall protest over a local energy scheme.
During a break in the meeting she is said to have approached Mr Brereton, began haranguing him and then told him: ‘I feel like f***ing killing you.’
One observer said: ‘I was shocked. She was serious – she was right in his face.’
Mrs Gidman was ushered out of the building before the meeting re-started and police were called. She was arrested at her home the next morning and accepted a conditional caution, meaning that she admitted the offence and agreed to stay away from Mr Brereton.
Mr Brereton told the Daily Mail: ‘Obviously everybody is very passionate at this point but there is no need for any threats or intimidation – that is unacceptable in our politics. It’s not something that you expect in a hustings and was quite worrying, really’
It does not count as a conviction but does appear for a short time on the individual’s criminal record.
She is understood to have been seen by community mental health services while in custody.
A spokesman for Staffordshire Police said: ‘Officers attended an address in Blurton, Stoke-on-Trent, following reports a woman had made threats to kill at a sports and social club.
‘The woman, aged 50, was arrested early the following morning and accepted a caution for threatening behaviour and using insulting words or behaviour.
‘As with every election the police’s role is to prevent and detect crime and enable the democratic process to take place unhindered.
‘We take that role very seriously because intimidation of candidates and their supporters has serious implications for individuals and democracy. All candidates have been offered guidance and sensible advice.’
It comes after Labour’s Ruth Smeeth, MP for neighbouring constituency Stoke-on-Trent North since 2015 and standing again on December 12, told how she has been bombarded with death threats and cannot leave her home by herself.
Police are investigating one death threat that was hand-delivered to her office.