Viscount jailed over racially abusive posts drops appeal for reduced sentence

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A viscount who offered £5,000 for someone to kill Brexit consultation campaigner Gina Miller has dropped his appeal to have his 12-week jail term reduced.

Rhodri Philipps, the 4th Viscount St Davids, was handed jailed on July 13 for writing a number of racially and abusive posts on Facebook.

One post read: "£5,000 for the first person to 'accidentally' run over this bloody troublesome first generation immigrant."

Philipps, of Knightsbridge, central London, also called her a "f***ing boat jumper" four days after Ms Miller, 52, won a landmark High Court challenge against the Government.

The 50-year-old, also known as Lord St Davids, accepted writing the posts but said they were not publicly visible and were not menacing.

On Friday he dropped his appeal against his sentence on two counts of sending by public communication network a menacing message after being warned his sentence could be increased if he was unsuccessful.

Philipps served only five days of his sentence before being released on bail while his appeal was pending.

Judge Deborah Taylor, the Recorder of Westminster sitting at Southwark Crown Court, said: "In those circumstances the sentence which was imposed at magistrates courts in full will [re] commence from today."

At the trial he said: "She's left a Third World country to come to Britain. It's not for first generation immigrants to behave the way Gina Miller did."

The aristocrat initially planned to appeal his conviction and was granted bail until his appeal hearing listed for August 10.

He dropped his appeal on August 1, but still planned to try and get his sentence reduced until being warned he risked a tougher jail term at court.

On Friday his barrister Oliver Blunt QC said: "Despite the number of character references and medical reports which my lady has been kind enough to indicate that you and your fellow judges have read in detail, and will no doubt have been moved by the aspects of the material contained within and the sentiments of the more positive aspects of this appellant's character, the appeal against sentence is abandoned."

Judge Taylor also ordered him to pay £500 costs.

Ms Miller, a Guyana-born mother of three, was subjected to a torrent of abuse and threats after spearheading the legal challenge which forced Prime Minister Theresa May to consult Parliament before beginning the formal process of leaving the EU.

The 52-year-old said she found Philipps comments "genuinely shocking" and she felt "violated".

She added in a statement she was "very scared for the safety of herself and her family" and she had hired extra security as a result.

On top of his jail term, Philipps was also given a five-year restraining order at Westminster Magistrates' Court after being convicted of two counts of sending menacing messages on a public electronic communications network.

Philipps has since apologised for his comments, describing them in court as "self-indulgent expletives of anger which I could not contain at the time, for which I apologise".

"They were deeply un-Christian in that respect and for whoever I have caused upset to I hope they will accept my sincerest apologies," he said.

He was cleared of a similar charge in relation to a post written in response to a news article about a migrant and his eight children living in a £400,000 council-fund flat.