Internet troll facing jail after violent antisemitic threats to Labour MP
John Nimmo, previously jailed for abusive messages, sent emails to Luciana Berger telling her she would ‘get it like Jo Cox’
An internet troll is facing jail for a second time after making antisemitic death threats to a Labour MP in which he told her she would “get it like Jo Cox”.
John Nimmo, 28, from South Shields, sent two emails to Luciana Berger where he told her to “watch your back Jewish scum”. The second message to the 35-year-old MP for Wavertree, who is running to become mayor of Liverpool, also included a picture of a large knife.
The messages came just three weeks after MP Jo Cox died after being shot and stabbed following a constituency meeting.
Nimmo was previously jailed in 2014 for eight weeks for sending abusive messages on Twitter to feminist campaigner Caroline Criado-Perez and MP Stella Creasy.
His first message made reference to Joshua Bonehill-Paine, who had been charged with a racially or religiously aggravated hate crime against Berger.
Sent at 7.54pm on 6 July, it said: “Justice for Joshua Bonehill-Paine will be sweet, he has friends everywhere. Watch your back Jewish scum, regards your friend the Nazi.”
He then followed it up two days later with: “You will get it like Jo Cox did, you better watch your back Jewish scum” just as Berger was leaving her office in the early evening.
South Tyneside magistrates court heard a statement from the former shadow minister for mental health in which she said it 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 antisemitic 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.”
Glenda Beck, prosecuting, told the court that Nimmo had been on bail at the time for emailing Tell MAMA, a group that supports victims of anti-Muslim hate, saying he would burn down a mosque.
Chairman of the bench Ian Alexander told him that the seriousness of the offences meant they would send it to crown court for sentencing.
Along with Isabella Sorley, Nimmo previously pleaded guilty at Westminster magistrates court in 2014 to abusing Criado-Perez and Creasy. The abuse came after Criado-Perez led a campaign using social media for a female figure to appear on a Bank of England note. It included Nimmo telling Criado-Perez to “shut up” and made references to rape, followed by: “I will find you (smiley face)”.
Paul Kennedy, for the defence, had argued for a suspended sentence, saying “he says these things for attention”.
“He does not desire to carry out these threats,” he said. He previously admitted two charges of sending malicious communications to Berger and the case will next be heard at Newcastle crown court in August.
Nimmo was remanded in custody.