An Englishman living in Cork has been given a three-month suspended sentence after he admitted threatening to kill a British Labour MP before warning that it was just going to be start of matters for those in power in Westminster.
Daniel Weavers (42), an engineer with an address at Castletreasure, Douglas, Cork, pleaded guilty at Cork District Court to two counts of sending a menacing message by telephone to British police on October 18th, 2021.
Det Garda Eoghain O’Callaghan said the charges related to two phone calls received by Cambridgeshire Police Control Centre in the UK in the early hours of October 18th, 2021, in which threats were made by the caller.
He said that in the first call received by Cambridgeshire Police Control Centre at 12.23am, Weavers made a very explicit threat to a female MP whom he identified, while he also threatened to attack other MPs.
"He referred to setting fire to a named MP and he referred to the recent death of an MP in England, saying he was going to start taking down MPs and this was just the start of it for Number 10," he said.
Det Garda O’Callaghan said that in a second call made at 12.43am on the same date, Weavers said he was going to hunt down the female MP mentioned in the first call, and he again threatened to harm her.
The calls came just three days after Tory MP Sir David Amess (69) was stabbed to death by an Islamic State fanatic at a political clinic he was holding in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, on October 15th, 2021, so Cambridgeshire Police took the threats very seriously.
Defence solicitor Eddie Burke said Weavers's calls had not come out of the blue as he had had some dealings with Cambridgeshire Police after he had made a complaint to them, but they had told him it was a freedom of speech issue and they had no role in addressing it.
Mr Burke said Weavers was not satisfied with the outcome. On the night in question he had been drinking and working on his computer, so he rang Cambridgeshire Police, making no effort to conceal his number or his identity. “It is a classic case of drink and dial,” he said.
Mr Burke said that Weavers had written a letter of apology for his behaviour and was deeply remorseful for what had happened, as he pleaded for leniency for his client, who was arrested by gardaí after Cambridgeshire Police passed on his details through Interpol.
Judge Alex Gabbett said it was a serious matter where the defendant effectively threatened members of parliament in the UK, but he had to be given credit for his decision to plead guilty and spare the state the expense of a trial.
“I am conscious he went through a period of isolation during the pandemic. He was isolated and very concerned about world affairs and he became a little bit paranoid,” said Judge Gabbett as he imposed a three-month jail term which he suspended in full.