UK Viscount jailed over threatening social media post targeted at Brexit campaigner
- - Jul 14, 2017
By Kalendra Withana,
Following Gina Miller’s win over a Brexit legal challenge against the UK government, Viscount Rhodri Colwyn Philipps posted a highly malicious Facebook post about the businesswoman.
It has been reported that in this post, Philipps was offering “£5,000 for the first person to ‘accidentally’ run over this bloody troublesome first generation immigrant”.
The Viscount went onto describe Ms Miller as a “boat jumper” and further made the statement: "If this is what we should expect from immigrants, send them back to their stinking jungles."
Ms Miller disclosed that she had been targeted by death threats ever since she began her role as a campaigner for the government to formally consult Parliament first-hand about Brexit negotiations.
Upon hearing about the Viscount’s Facebook post, the businesswoman said that she was “shocked” and “felt violated”.
According to the statements issued in the trial, Ms Miller displayed no hesitation in reporting the post to the police and even spent £60,000 on hiring professional security for her protection.
Gina Miller, Brexit activist, born in Guyana
Viscount Philipps, living in central London, was deemed guilty of two charges of instigating menacing communications over social media.
The other offence was in relation to his response to a news article about an immigrant.
In September 2016, an article about Mr Sube triggered Philipps to publicly write: “I will open the bidding. £2,000 in cash for the first person to carve Arnold Sube into pieces, piece of s***.”
In defending his actions at Westminster Magistrates’ Court, Philipps made the claim that his post about Ms Miller was just a “conversation piece for his Facebook friends” and his comments were merely “satire”.
The Viscount’s defence lawyer, Sabrina Felix, additionally said that Philipps accepts that the comments were "wholly disgraceful" and "menacing in character".
However, Judge Arbuthnot found the post to be nothing other than racially targeted and issued the Viscount with a 12-week jail sentence.
Arbuthnot proclaimed that Philipps was "so clearly showing hostility to Ms Miller based on her race or ethnic origin that I find it ludicrous that he should say otherwise".
She also told the Viscount: "You show this hatred by publicly directing abusive threats at others which is a criminal offence in this multi-racial society we are lucky enough to live in."
Sources – BBC News, The Independent, The Sun