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Man Convicted of Sending Offensive Emails to 22 MPs Including Mole Valley’s

Published on: 31 May, 2023
Updated on: 4 Jun, 2023

A man has been found guilty of sending offensive email messages to 22 Members of Parliament. They including Mole Valley’s MP Sir Paul Beresford and prime minister Rishi Sunak.

The Hereford Times reported that Benjamin Price, 32, of Belmont Road, Hereford, pleaded guilty on May 24 to charges of sending the emails that were grossly offensive or of an indecent or obscene character.

It was reported that in total, Price had sent 26 emails, 18 of which contained racist abuse directed towards the recipient. The remaining eight emails were sent to MPs of varying ethnicities and included content that was grossly offensive.

Price had initially been arrested on November 23, 2022 for the first six offences and answered no comment during his police interview.

The Hereford Times’ report stated, that following a mobile phone seizure and digital forensic investigation by the police, further victims were identified.

Sir Paul Beresford was one of the 22 MPs who received offensive emails from Benjamin Price.

Price was arrested again on January 4, 2023 and admitted he had sent the emails and that he was a racist and had targeted many of the MPs because of their race.

Price was handed unconditional bail to appear for sentencing on June 20.

Richard Purchase from the Crown Prosecution Service said: “Members of Parliament have difficult jobs to perform which leave them open to public scrutiny but that is no excuse for Benjamin Price’s behaviour.

“It is unacceptable for people to subject MPs to personalised abuse, including discriminatory abuse. In circumstances such as these, those who behave in this way will be breaking the law if they send emails that are grossly offensive, and we will always prosecute when our legal tests are met

“Mr Price has accepted that he sent such emails and has pleaded guilty to the charges he faced.”

Sir Paul Beresford commented: “All MPs get social media abusive and even more so very abusive tweets.

“If you are female, you probably get more than your male colleagues and if you a female and an ethnic minority you top the list.

“It comes with the job, in many forms. Sometimes, but rarely, the abuse is to your face but normally it is anonymous by unsigned letters, emails,  Twitter, or on Facebook.

“Sometimes it is sparked by an event or a remark you as an MP have made.

“When I was working with the head of the Metropolitan Police’s paedophile unit advising the then Labour Government on child protection for the Sex Offences Act, my parliamentary email was deluged.

“Every morning my poor senior researcher had to clear my inbox of these emails. One morning, after a long weekend, she removed 1,542 abusive emails.”

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