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Who the fuck threatened my Heidi Allen?… I’ll cut his fucking balls off!

“Well… their all fucking idiots (it’s the UK, get use to it)… that doesn’t mean you go round threatening and stalking them! Especially Heidi Allen!… Why?… Erm… because she studied Astro-physics? :/ … … that and the fact she’s absolutely fucking gorgeous! 😀 Seriously… I’ll string this guy up by his fucking bollocks.”

“Making her feel unsafe in her own home… maybe she needs a guy who does Krav Maga in her bed!” 😀
“And who’s the stalker now!”
“Well… … the offers their if she wants it.”
😀

Falklands veteran jailed after menacing MP Heidi Allen with ‘terrifying’ tweets

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a woman wearing glasses and smiling at the camera

© Provided by Independent Digital News & Media Limited

A pro-Brexit war veteran has been jailed for 24 weeks for menacing a Remainer MP online, including posting aerial images of her home on social media.

A district judge at Westminster Magistrates’ Court said Ian Couch’s posts on social media and email to former Tory MP and Change UK leader Heidi Allen would have been “terrifying” and were “clearly threatening”.

The court heard on Thursday that Couch, 59, had sent two tweets and a Facebook post on January 10 which included aerial photographs of the South Cambridgeshire MP’s home.

In the posts, Couch, who served in the Falklands War, had also said he was “close to giving out her address to the people that want it”, prosecutors said.

He also sent her an email the next day where he told the MP there were a lot of people asking for photos of her home but he had said no because he admired her constituency work, they added.

Couch, from Elsworth, Cambridgeshire, admitted two counts of sending offensive, indecent, obscene or menacing messages on a public communication on January 9 and 10 this year.

a woman standing in front of a mirror posing for the camera: Allen is the former leader of Change UK (AFP/Getty Images)

© Provided by Independent Digital News & Media Limited Allen is the former leader of Change UK (AFP/Getty Images)

He also pleaded guilty for not turning up to a previous hearing date.

Couch was handed a 24-week jail sentence for the menacing messages and fined £120 for missing the previous hearing.

He was also issued with a restraining order banning him from contacting Ms Allen directly or indirectly save at official engagements or through a Parliamentary aide.

The order also banned Couch from posting or sending any information relating to Ms Allen’s “personal or private life”.

District Judge Michael Snow said the tweets, Facebook post and email made it clear that the former Royal Marine regraded Ms Allen’s views as “treacherous”.

He added: “It’s quite clear to me that the cumulative effect of these on Ms Allen would have been terrifying.

“Those, in short, made it clear that you regarded her particular views as being treacherous.

“You indicated you were close to giving her address to people that wanted it. That’s clearly threatening.”

One of the tweets had also referenced the scaffolding around Ms Allen’s home at the time and said “maybe I should I add a rope to my yellow vest order”, the court heard.

The district judge said that another of the posts had included details which would allow anyone to identify Ms Allen’s home.

He added: “That immediately put Ms Allen at significant risk.

“You followed that up with an email where you again reiterated your large following and reiterated there were people who were interested in knowing who she was and indicating that they sometimes get out of control, again, a very menacing comment.

“Alongside that there are the references to the rope and the scaffolding, which is a clear implied threat.”

District Judge Snow said he recognised Couch had “served the public with distinction and bravery” and put his life on the line, but doing so had caused him to suffer from mental health problems.

But he said the sentence had to be prison because frightening and intimidating MPs was “an attack on democracy”.

He added: “If people are too frightened, too intimidated, to stand as MPs then the quality of public life is significantly undermined.

“It has to be recognised in the context of it being a profound attack on democracy.”

The court heard Ms Allen had felt scared in her own home and village and had installed panic alarms and emergency lighting.

In her victim impact statement, read to the court, she said she had decided not to start running again because she felt she would be exposed to “potential danger”.

She added: “I felt scared in my own home village. I struggled to sleep and was nervous of any noise, particularly at night. I suddenly felt very exposed.”

Ms Allen quit the Tory party in February and was interim leader of Change UK until she left the new party in June.

Joseph McKenna, defending, said Couch had spiralled into depression and became alcohol-dependent after losing his job as manager of dental laboratory.

Mr McKenna said his client had felt he had built up a “rapport” with Ms Allen beyond that if a normal constituent and had meant his comments to be “jocular”.

He added: “He thought they were having some form of relationship in terms of dialogue argument about the position on Brexit.

“He was trying, through his anger at her stance on Brexit, to be jocular.”

The court heard Couch had a history with Ms Allen, who was his local MP, and had become “fixated” on her.

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.

He added: “The Crown do not suggest that these communications were criminal in nature but as the communications went on his behaviour did start to cause and Allen and her Parliamentary office some concern. He appears to have become fixated on her.”

In November 2018, Couch turned up on her doorstep on a Sunday morning and told her he wished her to return his war medals to then prime minister Theresa May, the court heard.

But Mr Procter said that after Couch thrust them into her hands the MP passed them on to the local vicar, who knew them both.

He added: “That was obviously in conjunction with the views he had about democracy in this country, the result of the referendum, and whether it was going to be enacted or not.”

Couch’s friend, a fellow veteran, Leonard Goldsmith appealed to the court to show mercy due to his previous service.

Speaking to the court he added: “We were deployed together to the south Atlantic during the Falklands War and served together there.

“Subsequently the campaign was victorious.

“I still consider Ian to be part of our marines family. All I can ask for is that you can show some mercy towards him and consider his previous service and his experiences which may have had a lot of impact.”

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