Ex-Brexit Party candidate guilty of writing 'menacing' tweet to MP
Former Brexit Party candidate, 61, is found guilty of writing ‘bullet in the head’ tweet following another post on the social media platform about Labour MP Dawn Butler
- Stephen Peddie, 61, wrote the ‘menacing’ Twitter post on February 21 last year
- It suggested shooting the MP in back of head would be ‘justified and deserved’
- Peddie, of Edenbridge, Kent, was found guilty at Westminster Magsitrates’ Court
Stephen Peddie (pictured), 61, wrote the ‘menacing’ tweet on February 21 last year, in response to another post by social commentator Toby Young about Labour Brent MP Dawn Butler, 52
A former Brexit Party candidate who suggested shooting a Labour MP in the back of the head would be ‘justified and wholly deserved’ has been found guilty of sending an offensive message.
Stephen Peddie, 61, wrote the ‘menacing’ tweet on February 21 last year, in response to another post by social commentator Toby Young about Labour Brent MP Dawn Butler, 52.
Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard how in his original tweet, Mr Young had accused Ms Butler of using taxpayers’ money to fit a Jacuzzi-style bath in a north London property while claiming her main home was in east London – a claim she furiously denied.
Peddie wrote in response: ‘Egregious theft in a time of national emergency.
‘Someone please explain to me why a bullet to the back of the head is anything but justified and wholly deserved.’
Former Labour whip Ms Butler posted a screenshot of the tweet, writing: ‘I received a death threat, with the threat of a bullet to the back of my head.
‘All because Toby Young is peddling an [sic] decade old, incorrect, story about me so that his followers can send threats, you are both SCUM.’
She tagged the Metropolitan Police Service and broadcaster Piers Morgan to her post.
Peddie, a retired senior banker and management consultant, denied but was convicted of sending an offensive, indecent, obscene or menacing message by Deputy District Judge Briony Clarke.
Peddie wrote in response to another tweet about Dawn Butler: ‘Egregious theft in a time of national emergency. Someone please explain to me why a bullet to the back of the head is anything but justified and wholly deserved’
‘It is simply a tweet of a menacing character in my view,’ she said.
Peddie, who represented himself, argued the tweet was a question rather than a threat and said it was not directly aimed at Ms Butler.
But Judge Clarke said: ‘I do not believe the defendant.
‘Ultimately the content of the tweet is one which is sent off the back of a tweet sent by Toby Young specially mentioning Dawn Butler’s bill for a jacuzzi and food shop.’
Peddie admitted the Tweet was ‘ill-advised’ and described it as a ‘moment of madness’ in his police interview.
Judge Clarke said although the tweet was not a ‘direct threat to Dawn Butler’, Peddie ‘should and did recognise the risk that at the time of sending that it might create fear or apprehension to any member of the public who reads it’.
Peddie (pictured) was bailed ahead of sentence at the same court on February 2
‘I find the defendant guilty of this offence,’ she said.
Peddie, of Edenbridge, Kent, appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court wearing a blue checked shirt, a yellow waistcoat, grey trousers and a navy patterned tie.
He plans to appeal the verdict and said: ‘I want to take this case to the European Court of Human Rights.’
He was bailed ahead of sentence at the same court on February 2.
Peddie was a prospective parliamentary candidate for the Kent constituency of Tonbridge and Malling in 2019 before quitting in protest at Nigel Farage’s election strategy.
Source: Read Full Article