Jail for internet troll who told MP she would 'get it like Jo Cox'

John Nimmo
John Nimmo

An internet troll has been jailed after making anti-Semitic death threats to a Labour MP, telling her she would "get it like Jo Cox".

John Nimmo, 28, of South Shields, sent two emails to Luciana Berger, which included a picture of a large knife and anti-Semitic remarks.

He was sentenced in court today.

He was sentenced in court today.

The messages to the MP for Liverpool Wavertree came just three weeks after fellow MP Jo Cox was killed in her West Yorkshire constituency.

The former shadow minister for mental health said the messages had caused her "great fear and anguish".

She said the incident had left her in a state of "huge distress" and "it caused me to feel physically sick being threatened in such a way".

"I was extremely concerned for my safety and I felt completely under threat. I had previously received anti-Semitic messages and threats but the reference to Jo Cox was terrifying," she said.

"The biggest concern was not knowing who this was, for all I knew the offender could have resided next door to me."

In a separate incident he sent offensive emails to an anti-hate crime organisation including threats to burn down a mosque.

Prosecutor Mark Giuliani told Newcastle Crown Court the messages to Faith Matters, which offer an online hate crime reporting system, included pictures of dead bodies and the words death to Muslims.

Nimmo, who appeared by video link from prison, was also sentenced for three charges relating to anti-Semitic tweets and accusing a woman of being a paedophile.

This is the second time Nimmo has been jailed, after he was imprisoned in 2014 for eight weeks after sending abusive messages on Twitter to feminist campaigner Caroline Criado-Perez and MP Stella Creasy.

It came after Ms Criado-Perez led a campaign using social media for a female figure to appear on a Bank of England note.

Jailing him for two years and three months for the nine offences, Judge Robert Adams said he "caused terror, fear and paranoia".

He said the crimes were cowardly attacks "done from the comfort of your own home where you thought you could never be identified which caused misery to other people".

He said the attack on Ms Berger was the most serious of them all, because "it involved a lady who is Jewish and a democratically elected Member of Parliament".

Vic Laffey, defending, said the offences had caused "enormous distress" to the victims and said Nimmo lived an isolated life and suffered from Aspergers Syndrome.

Following the sentence, John Dilworth, Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor for CPS North East said: “John Nimmo conducted a cowardly online campaign of vile, hate-filled abuse in the belief that his identity was securely hidden behind the fake accounts that he had created.

“However, as with any crime of this type, there was a clear forensic link between the messages sent and the Internet Provider (IP) address of the device used to send them. While John Nimmo had made every effort to cover his tracks, his clumsy attempts to do so were swiftly exposed and he was arrested by investigating police.

“Working together with our partners at Northumbria Police we have built a particularly robust case against John Nimmo, which left him with little option but to plead guilty to the charges against him.

“Online abuse can be devastating for victims, but I sincerely hope that today’s sentence brings a measure of comfort to all of those that have been targeted during John Nimmo’s malicious campaign.”

Julian Cadman

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