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Diane Abbott death threat: Pensioner who threatened to torch MP's house in vile racist letter gets 12-month community order

PUBLISHED: 10:08 03 May 2018 | UPDATED: 12:20 03 May 2018

In a letter sent to the office of Diane Abbott MP Roy Douglas Brown threatened to torch her house and car with the member of parliament trapped inside. Picture: PA/LAUREN HURLEY

In a letter sent to the office of Diane Abbott MP Roy Douglas Brown threatened to torch her house and car with the member of parliament trapped inside. Picture: PA/LAUREN HURLEY

PA/Press Association Images

A pensioner has admitted sending a racist letter to veteran Hackney MP Diane Abbott in which he described her as "black vermin".

Brown from Barkingside was given a 12 month community order and fined £85 after pleading guilty to sending an offensive letter to Hackney MP Diane Abbott. Picture: Jon KingBrown from Barkingside was given a 12 month community order and fined £85 after pleading guilty to sending an offensive letter to Hackney MP Diane Abbott. Picture: Jon King

Roy Douglas Brown, 69, of Dunspring Lane, Barkingside, admitted sending a letter to Ms Abbott at her office in the Houses of Commons conveying an offensive or indecent message.

Barkingside Magistrates’ Court heard yesterday (May 2) that a shamed Brown had sent a letter to Parliament saying he would send “black vermin, thugs, druggies, gangs, car thieves, machetes and scum to Diane Abbott’s house.”

He menacingly wrote that he would “burn her house and her car with Abbott trapped inside.”

He also said that she was “fat enough” to be used as a shield.

And the pensioner, who had never offended before, recalled “the blacks who murdered Pc Blakelock.”

PC Keith Henry Blakelock was murdered in 1985 in the Broadwater Farm riot at the housing estate in Tottenham, north London.

The pensioner confessed to police that his bizarre ramble to the shadow home secretary had been in retaliation over riots in Haringey in 2011.

He was traced by detectives after his DNA was found on the letter. In a police interview, he admitted his guilt.

The 69-year-old said he considered the riot’s perpetrators to be “vermin” and told police that the majority of offenders were black and that is why he believed them to be “black vermin.”

Abbott’s parliamentary assistant, who opened the letter on August 8 last year, said she found the contents to be “deeply offensive” and that it caused “distress.”

Brown’s defence counsel Farhana Rahman-Cook said her client had “vulnerabilities” adding: “He’s completely embarrassed by being in front of the court.”

In his statement, District Judge Gary Lucie said that a letter by Brown shown to the court showed his remorse following the incident.

He added: “I accept that you are not racist, but the letter does refer to black people and that makes the offence more serious,” he said.

He gave Brown a 12-month community order and ordered him to complete a 10-day rehabilitation order.

He was also ordered to pay £85 in costs.

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