Man jailed for sending anti Semitic tweet to Liverpool MP

20/10/2014

A 21-year-old man who pleaded guilty to sending an anti-Semitic tweet to the Liverpool Labour MP Luciana Berger has been jailed for four weeks.

At Liverpool Magistrates Court today (20.10.2014) Garron Helm, of Thomson Road in Litherland, admitted sending a tweet to the MP in the early hours of the morning on 7 August 2014

Ms Berger is MP for the Wavertree constituency in Liverpool. It had been sent from an account called "Aethelwulf", which means "Noble Wolf" in Old English.

The tweet was investigated by Merseyside Police's Cyber Intervention Unit and was traced back to Helm. A later search of his home revealed Nazi and far Right paraphernalia.

Helm was arrested and charged with sending an offensive message by a public communication network.

He pleaded guilty and has been given an immediate four-week jail term and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £80 and £85 costs.

Claire Lindley, Chief Crown Prosecutor Mersey-Cheshire Crown Prosecution Service, said: "It is vital that the right to freedom of speech is upheld but this tweet was so grossly offensive that it crossed the threshold of criminality and was clearly targeted at Luciana Berger because of her religion.

"This is a religiously-aggravated hate crime and it won't be tolerated.

"The Crown Prosecution Service, working with the police, is determined to crack down on abusive social media communication.

"Some people think they can send whatever they like into cyberspace and won't be caught - they are wrong and this prosecution proves that."