War veteran jailed for 'threatening' tweets to MP Heidi Allen

Heidi Allen was targeted online

Thursday, August 8, 2019

A Falklands War veteran has been jailed for 24 weeks for sending “threatening” tweets to former Conservative MP Heidi Allen.

Brexiteer Ian Couch posted aerial images of the South Cambridgeshire MP's home on social media, and threatened he was “close to giving out her address to the people that want it”.

He also sent an email to the pro-remain MP which said he was receiving lots of requests to reveal her home address, but had declined as he admired her work for the constituency, Westminster Magistrates' Court heard.

Judge Michael Snow said the posts were “clearly threatening” and that the cumulative effect of the messages would have been “terrifying” for the now-independent MP.

The 59-year-old admitted two counts of sending indecent, obscene or menacing messages and also pleaded guilty to failing to turn up to a previous hearing date.

Along with the prison sentence, he has been fined £120 and banned from contacting Ms Allen directly or posting online about her private life.

Prosecutor Michael Procter said that the pair had met at a local remembrance ceremony in 2017 and Couch would often email her.

He stressed that none of these had been criminal in nature, but Couch had become fixated on Ms Allen.

Ms Allen was elected as a Conservative MP in 2015 but resigned from the party earlier this year to join Change UK.

She served as party leader from March until June, when she announced she was sitting as an independent.

Couch sent the tweets in January when Ms Allen was still a Conservative MP.

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