Theresa May: Man jailed for 'explicit and repeated' threats to kill former PM

·2-min read

A man has been jailed for two years after threatening to kill Theresa May with "a knife or a gun" while she was prime minister.

Wajid Shah, from Slough, who has severe learning disabilities, sent abusive emails to Ms May and five other politicians, including Labour former cabinet minister Lord Blunkett and then-immigration minister Caroline Nokes.

Baroness Lister, then-armed forces minister Mark Lancaster and his local MP, Labour's Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi, were also targeted by emails Judge Philip Bartle QC described as "extremely offensive and abhorrent".

Shah, 27, said he would kill Ms May with "a knife or a gun", and called Lord Blunkett a "retarded blind bastard".

Mrs May, who was replaced as Conservative Party leader and prime minister by Boris Johnson in July 2019, found the email "extremely offensive, threatening and disturbing".

She was "left feeling anxious and concerned", prosecutor Barry McElduff told Southwark Crown Court, given the "explicit and repeated" threats to kill.

The court heard that Lord Blunkett found the two emails he received to be "deeply offensive and threatening".

Ms Nokes was reminded of Jo Cox - the MP murdered in 2016 - as Shah appeared to have found her constituency address, the judge said.

Baroness Lister found the contents of the email sent to her "threatening, horrible and upsetting", Mr McElduff said.

Mr Dhesi, who was Shah's constituency MP, had contact with him before regarding the citizenship test, which was "something of a theme in this case", Mr McElduff said.

After receiving four abusive emails from the defendant, which included a threat to kill, he closed his office on police advice.

The judge sentenced Shah, who he said had an IQ of 58 which is in the "extremely low range", to 24 months in jail following a six-day trial.

The jury, he said, was convinced Shah had sent the messages, which contained "vile abuse".

Further attempts to send more emails, including to Mr Johnson, were intercepted, the court heard.

Shah was convicted of six counts of sending a letter/communication or article conveying a threatening message between 27 March and 11 April after a trial at Southwark Crown Court last month.