Man banned from cathedral after threatening to 'shoot' congregation

Heney has been banned from the cathedral

Friday, November 1, 2019

A 34-year-old man has been banned from Westminster Cathedral for six months after threatening to "shoot up" the congregation, a court has heard.

Daniel Heney stormed into the venue during a Catholic Mass and delivered a "torrent of abuse" in front of shocked parishioners, Westminster Magistrates' Court was told.

The incident occurred as a bishop was administering the traditional bread and wine of the Eucharist.

The defendant, who suffers from schizophrenia, was led away by security, but later returned to the building in Victoria, London, to apologise to staff.

Defence counsel Lynne Gothard said Heney had entered the cathedral to speak to the bishop "about his problems".

"He went in to try and speak to him man to man but didn't gauge how that was going to go badly wrong. He is diagnosed as schizophrenic and has been since [he was] a very young man," she added.

"He actually went back and apologised, they were all very nice about it. There is no issue with the parish staff."

District Judge Vanessa Baraitser said: "It is right to describe the words you used as a torrent of abuse. I think it was in terms of 'I'll shoot you all up'."

Heney, who lives in nearby Regency Street, admitted harassment and was banned from visiting the holy site for six months.

Ms Baraitser told him: "You must not go to the cathedral, that is Westminster Cathedral, and its precinct."

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