Former Royal Marine jailed for six months for sending 'terrifying' threats to Heidi Allen over Brexit

Joe Gamp
Contributor, Yahoo News UK
Mrs Allen was threatened by a pro-Brexit former Marine in a series of social media posts and an email (GETTY)

A former Royal Marine has been jailed for 24 weeks after sending threatening emails to Change UK leader Heidi Allen over her stance on Brexit.

Ian Couch, 59, sent two tweets and a Facebook post in January, with one of the tweets referenced scaffolding around Allen’s home at the time and saying “maybe I should add a rope to my yellow vest order”.

Couch said he was “close to giving out her address to the people that want it”.

His posts included aerial photographs of the MP’s home, Westminster magistrates court heard.

Mrs Allen said she feared for her safety after pictures of her home were posted to social media (GETTY)

The following day, he sent the MP an email claiming a number of people were asking for photos of her home.

Couch, of Elsworth, Cambridgeshire, admitted two counts of sending offensive, indecent, obscene or menacing messages over a public communications network.

He pleaded guilty to not turning up at a previous hearing date.

Judge Michael Snow described the posts and email as “terrifying” and were “clearly threatening”.

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The judge said his actions made it clear the former Couch regarded the Change UK leader’s views as “treacherous”.

He was jailed for 24 weeks and fined £120 for missing the previous hearing.

He said: “It’s quite clear to me that the cumulative effect of these on Mrs Allen would have been terrifying.

“Those, in short, made it clear that you regarded her particular views as being treacherous.

A general view of Westminster Magistrates Court, London.

“You indicated you were close to giving her address to people that wanted it. That’s clearly threatening.”

Mrs Allen said she had given up running because she felt she would be exposed to “potential danger”.

She also installed panic alarms and emergency lighting at her home.

In a victim impact statement read out to the court, she said: “I struggled to sleep and was nervous of any noise, particularly at night. I suddenly felt very exposed.”

Couch was also handed a restraining order banning him from contacting Allen directly or indirectly. The order bans him for posting or sending information relating to Allen’s “personal or private life”.

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