Retired nurse who sent racially abusive email to Bradford MP Naz Shah appears in court

A retired nurse sent a racially abusive email to Bradford MP Naz Shah in which he said "I'm sure victims of grooming gangs are happy at your appointment", a court heard.

Ian Brown, 60, of Feltham, London sent the email on April 11, last year, to the Bradford MP citing forced marriages, honour killings, grooming gangs and female genital mutilation.

He signed off the email with his name and address.

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Ms Shah reported the matter to the police and during interview, Brown claimed that although he had sent the email when he was angry, it was not racially motivated.

Bradford MP Naz Shah.
Bradford MP Naz Shah.

He pleaded guilty to sending by public communication network an offensive or indecent or obscene or menacing message, at an earlier court hearing.

Brown appeared at Westminster Magistrates' Court on Tuesday where he was sentenced to six weeks in prison, suspended for 24 months. He was also ordered to carry out 80 hours of unpaid work and pay £100 in compensation. He was also banned from contacting the MP for six months.

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"When questioned by police, he refused to acknowledge that the email had been racially motivated and abusive, instead saying he believed a particular ethnic group was misogynistic, that it should be rooted out and that he was only being politically incorrect.

"Hate crime has no place in our society and I hope this conviction gives other victims of hate crime the courage to come forward in the knowledge that the CPS will do everything it can to bring such offenders to justice."