Monday, 30 Nov 2020

Wajid Shah, 27, jailed for 2 years for threatening to kill Theresa May

Son who sent death threats to politicians including former Prime Minister Theresa May because he feared his mother would fail the UK immigration test has been jailed for two years

  • Wajid Shah, 27, believed his mother Noreen would fail the UK immigration test
  • Shah, from Slough,  feared his mother’s lack of English would see her deported
  • He sent threatening messages to a number of politicians including Theresa May
  • Shah, who has an IQ of 58 and major learning difficulties was jailed for two years 

Wajid Shah, pictured outside Southwark Crown Court, was jailed for two years after he threatened to kill several politicians including former Prime Minister Theresa May

A son who sent death threats to politicians including former Prime Minister Theresa May because he feared his mother would fail the UK immigration test has been jailed for two years.

Wajid Shah, 27, believed the text was too difficult for his mother Noreen to pass as she spoke no English.

Shah sent threats to Caroline Nokes, the Tory MP for Romsey and Southampton North, Tan Dhesi, the Labour MP for Slough and Mark Lancaster, Conservative MP for Milton Keynes North.

He also targeted Lord David Blunkett and Baroness Ruth Lister, both Labour peers, along with then Prime Minister May, in March and April last year.

An email sent to Shah’s local MP Mr Dhesi, sent on 28 March, read: ‘You’re a real b*****d Tan Dhesi you son of b***h motherf****r, I’m going to kill you with a knife or a gun you b*****d c**t d***head p***k. I chop your f-king head off…’

Shah was convicted of six charges of sending electronic communications with intent to cause distress or anxiety by a jury at Southwark Crown Court.

Barry McElduff, prosecuting, said that Baroness Lister found Shah’s email ‘threatening’ and ‘upsetting’.

‘She said this was indicative of a disturbed mind and this was the first time she received such a communication whilst a member of the House of Lords,’ said Mr McElduff.

‘Caroline Nokes received one email on March 8.

‘She viewed that email in the Commons Library that day.

‘Whilst she had received abusive emails before from others this was particularly concerning as it referred to her to her role as immigration minister and the sender had looked up her constituency address.’

The prosecutor continued: ‘She noted the sender may have mental health concerns, but she, for entirely understandable reasons, drew comparison to the events to the events that led to the tragic death of Jo Cox MP.’

Ms Nokes added that the proximity of Slough to her own constituency made this ‘too close for comfort’.

Lord Blunkett also characterised the message he received as ‘deeply offensive and threatening’.

‘The emails sent to Lord Blunkett contained abuse regarding his visual impairment and the second email also contained a derogatory racial term with the presence of the N-word,’ said Mr McElduff.

Former Prime Minister Theresa May was among the politicians threatened by Shah

Shah also threatened David Blunkett, the former Labour Home Secretary who brought in the citizenship tests

Shah used the same racist slur on his own MP Mr Dhesi, and threatened to kill him and ‘chop his head off’.

‘They caused a degree of alarm and I was concerned for my safety,’ said the Slough MP.

‘I am one of the few members of Parliament who conducts public surgeries without the need for appointment.

‘Whilst I am not currently deterred from doing so, I welcome the offer of increased police presence.’

‘It has directly affected my work and my ability to act as a member of Parliament.’

Ms May said: ‘Although unacceptable, as a politician I do occasionally get abusive messages.

‘What made this different was the explicit and repeated threats to kill me.’

The former prime minister added that the abusive messages left her ‘anxious and concerned’.

Former MP Mr Lancaster said: ‘I was left feeling deeply concerned not only for my welfare but, more importantly, that of my family.

The prosecutor noted it was ‘public record’ Mr Lancaster did not stand for reelection, citing ‘abusive correspondence’ as one of the reasons.

Judge Philip Bartle, QC, called the emails Shah sent to politicians ‘abusive and abhorrent’.

‘Mr Shah sent similar messages to Boris Johnson and others but they were not received,’ said judge Bartle.

‘Mr Shah has severe learning difficulties.

‘He does not suffer from any mental health disorder.

‘As the report says he has an IQ of 58, which is within the extremely low range.’

The judge noted that despite Shah’s learning difficulties he managed to plan this by targeting MP’s linked to immigration as well as geographical proximity.

Shah attended court in the same dark trousers and a blue shirt he wore every day of his trial and didn’t react as the judge passed the sentence.

Shah sent the emails through the website WriteToThem.com, used for contacting politicians.

He signed the messages off in either the name of his father, takeaway worker Azmat Shah, or Jobcentre Plus worker Jasmindar Badyal.

Jurors at Southwark Crown Court heard  the Shah family had split, with the eldest brother Wajid, his younger brother Abid and mother Noreen living, cooking and sleeping in one room while the father and other brother lived in other rooms

Jurors heard the Shah family had split, with the eldest brother Wajid, his younger brother Abid and mother Noreen living, cooking and sleeping in one room while the father and other brother lived in other rooms.

Barry McElduff, prosecuting, said: ‘It would seem that the relations between Azmat and Noreen had broken down and the children had taken sides in the fall out from that breakdown, reflected in one way by the sleeping arrangements.

‘Wajid and Abid sharing the largest with their mother, it would seem that in addition to sleeping they used it as a de facto living room, and kitchen as well.

‘It gives you an idea of how things were breaking down, sadly, in the family.

‘It would seem the two other boys are very close to mother and would act as translators for Noreen Shah as she spoke little or no English.

‘Wajid had considerable anxiety about her necessity should it arise to complete the UK citizenship test.

‘And the UK citizenship test sits alongside the allegations of this case for this reason.

‘Many of the persons that received abusive emails in this case either had a direct link to the UK immigration test or a perceived link to the UK immigration test.’

Mr McElduff said one of the politicians who had received emails was Lord Blunkett.

‘It was he who initiated the test.

‘Caroline Nokes was an immigration minister in the government last year, someone it may have been felt by the defendant to have influence in this area..’

Ms Nokes received an email saying: ‘I’m going to kill you f**king b***h and I’m going to kill you f***ing bitch.’

The prosecutor said Theresa May, Prime Minister at the time, received an email, threatening to kill her with a knife or a gun, purporting to be from Azmat.

The abuse was similar in most of the emails, said Mr McElduff.

The court was told Shah was deemed suitable to take part in Maximus, a work choice program tailored to help with help problems to get into work.

Giving evidence Ms Badyal said Shah attended the Job Centre every day to use the computers on his job search, mostly by himself.

She described him as ‘quiet, polite and compliant’ and said he avoided interacting with others.

Shah, from Slough, denied but was convicted of six counts of sending electronic communication with intent to cause fear.

He was sentenced to two years in prison.

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