Jail for man who threatened MP with letter saying ‘you are next’

A man who sent a "sickening" letter to an MP, suggesting she would be murdered like Jo Cox, has been jailed.

Anna Soubry was sent the post, which read "COX WAS FIRST YOU ARE NEXT", by Alden Bryce Barlow, 55, from Doncaster.

The letter arrived at Ms Soubry's constituency office in Broxtowe, Nottingham, on October 14 this year and was opened by a member of staff, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said.

Barlow admitted sending a letter conveying a threatening message and was sentenced to 12 months in jail at Sheffield Crown Court.

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Anna Soubry through the years
Leader of The Independent Group for Change Anna Soubry in London, Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2019. In a decision with wide-ranging political ramifications, Britain's Supreme Court plans to give its verdict Tuesday on the legality of Prime Minister Boris Johnson's five-week suspension of Parliament. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
Leader of The Independent Group for Change Anna Soubry, left, speaks outside the Supreme Court in London, Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2019 after it made it's decision on the legality of Prime Minister Boris Johnson's five-week suspension of Parliament. In a setback for Johnson, Britain's Supreme Court has ruled that the suspension of Parliament was illegal. The ruling Tuesday is a major blow to the prime minister who had suspended Parliament for five weeks, claiming it was a routine closure. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
British lawmaker Anna Soubry speaks press at conference in Westminster in London, Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019. Cracks in Britain's political party system yawned wider Wednesday, as three pro-European lawmakers - Soubry, Allen and Wollaston - quit the governing Conservatives to join a newly formed centrist group of independents who are opposed to the government's plan for Britain's departure from the European Union. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
British politicians Heidi Allen, left, Sarah Wollaston, centre, and Anna Soubry, right, joined new political party 'The Independent Group' pose for a photograph after a press conference in Westminster in London, Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019. Cracks in Britain's political party system yawned wider Wednesday, as three pro-European lawmakers - Soubry, Allen and Wollaston - quit the governing Conservatives to join a newly formed centrist group of independents who are opposed to the government's plan for Britain's departure from the European Union (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
British MPs from left, Sarah Wollaston, Anna Soubry and Heidi Allen, during a press conference in London, Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019. Cracks in Britain's political party system yawned wider Wednesday, as three pro-European lawmakers - Soubry, Allen and Wollaston - quit the governing Conservatives to join a newly formed centrist group of independents who are opposed to the government's plan for Britain's departure from the European Union. (Stefan Rousseau/PA via AP)
Sarah Wollaston, Heidi Allen, Anna Soubry, Joan Ryan, Angela Smith, Luciana Berger, Ann Coffey, Chris Leslie, Gavin Shuker, Chuka Umunna and Mike Gapes pose for picture at a news conference in London, Britain February 20, 2019. REUTERS/Simon Dawson
Anna Soubry MP during a People's Vote rally at New Dock Hall in Leeds.
Anna Soubry MP at the Change UK People's Vote Remain rally at the SKYBar, Edinburgh, ahead of the forthcoming European elections.
(left to right) Anna Soubry, Ken Clarke and Antoinette Sandbach arrive in 10 Downing Street, London.
Business minister Anna Soubry speaking about the steel industry in Wales at the Welsh Affairs Committee in the House of Commons in London.
Prime Minister David Cameron with pothole campaigner Roy Plumb (second left) and Anna Soubry MP during a visit to Victoria Street, Nottingham as more than three million potholes will be filled in by March next year as part of the biggest investment in roads since the 1970s.
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He was also given a 10-year restraining order against Ms Soubry, who is standing as a candidate for The Independent Group for Change (TIGfC) in the General Election.

Barlow was traced using fingerprint analysis and CCTV from the post office counter in Doncaster where he posted the letter.

Ms Soubry, leader of the TIGfC, was previously a Conservative and had several ministerial jobs under David Cameron.

Chief Crown prosecutor Gerry Wareham called the note "sickening" and "ominous" and described it as an "attack on democracy".

He said: "Ms Soubry and her staff in the constituency office understandably found the message deeply disturbing and highly offensive.

"I hope the sentence Barlow received today is of some comfort to Ms Soubry and her colleagues and a deterrent to anyone else contemplating such despicable actions against a parliamentary representative or candidate."

Mrs Cox was Labour MP for Batley and Spen when she was stabbed and shot outside a constituency surgery in Birstall, West Yorkshire, in 2016.

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