Bootle man guilty of sending ‘grossly offensive’ message to MP

A man has pleaded guilty at Sefton Magistrates’ Court to sending a grossly offensive message to the Labour MP Dawn Butler.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said that John Fagan, 58, from Bootle, sent the message to Dawn Butler, MP for Brent in London, at 10.20pm on 13 July 2021.

The message was racist and offensive. Ms Butler was shocked at the messages and at the racist content that she felt was directed at her as she is black.

She is prominent in speaking out against discrimination and inequality and said that the message made her fear for the safety of her staff and herself.

She reported the email to the Metropolitan Police. The email was traced to Fagan and the case was transferred to Merseyside Police.

He was arrested and on 12 April 2022 at Sefton Magistrates’ Court he pleaded guilty to sending a malicious communication that was grossly offensive. He will be sentenced on 5 May 2022 at the same court.

Crown Prosecutor Jessica Foy of CPS Mersey Cheshire said, “Members of Parliament perform a difficult and important role, to represent our interests and concerns at Westminster.

“The role can attract criticism and comment, but messages like that sent by John Fagan don’t relate to the work of the MP at all. These comments were vile, racist and offensive and criticised her as a person – hate crime at its worst.

“Hate crime very often attacks people for something they can do nothing about, such as their race, sex or sexual orientation. It attacks the very core of the person and that is why it is so offensive.

“The Crown Prosecution Service works with the police to track down the perpetrators of this sort of offending and bring them to justice. John Fagan has taken to his keyboard to spread hate and is facing the consequences. ”


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