A man who bombarded Sir Keir Starmer and Emily Thornberry with over 200 “rambling and incoherent” emails, branding them “f**king hypocrites” has been spared jail.
David Knott, 46, a stained-glass window maker, was made subject to a two-year restraining order, preventing him from contacting either of the MPs.
He posted more than 200 emails to the Labour leader’s aide Omar Sharif and Thornberry’s assistant Frances Simmons between Christmas Day 2019 to 24 February this year.
He continued even after he was sent a “cease and desist” letter, Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard.
During the trial, Knott told the court he was making a legitimate protest about the standard of housing he and his disabled partner had been provided.
AFP via Getty Images)
Get the news you want straight to your inbox. Sign up for a Mirror newsletter here
Prosecutor Jennifer Gatland said: “In excess of 200 emails were sent to the Emily Thornberry MP and Keir Starmer MP’s email addresses.
“Most of them were rambling and incoherent.”
The emails included one mistake-riddled message which read: “Take your response and shove it up your f**king a**hole.”
Another stated: “Frankly I think you should get some work done rather than talk about language you f**king hypocrites.”
Knott, who’s own MP is Emily Thornberry, said he suffers from PTSD after the death of his quadriplegic partner Nicholas Walker because they “saw demons coming out of the walls” of their home.
He told the court the flat had severe problems with noise during the night that left him deprived of sleep for six months.
Representing himself Knott said: “I was trying to ensure no disabled person will suffer that indignity.
“I was on the streets at 14, I was HIV positive at 15, my emails are not the same as someone who went to Oxford or Harvard.
“Six months sleep deprivation, we were seeing demons come out of the walls.
“I still can’t make stained-glass windows. I don’t care what they felt, I wanted them to do their job and protect the most vulnerable in our society.
“What I suffered, what my partner was unbelievable, he lost the ability to move his remaining arm, he was psychotic.”
The disability rights campaigner told the court his severe dyslexia prevented him from reading the “cease and desist” letter Starmer’s office sent to him, and that he was illiterate until he was 41.
He told the court his white blood cell count fell below 200 because of the sleep deprivation and suffered pneumonia due to his AIDS.
Knott, of Dalston, denied but was convicted of two counts of harassment without violence.
Sabrina Felix, for Knott, said: “The defendant was previously illiterate. He has now begun, and continues to receive, literacy lessons in reading and writing so when he was sending those emails they were one liners, most of them, because he dictated the emails rather than typing them.
“So he used the emails more like a text service, sending one line at a time.”
Knott was offered a caution when he was first arrested, but refused.
Knott received an eight week community order, meaning he will be on a tagged curfew between the hours of 9pm and 8am.
He was ordered to pay £520 in court costs at a rate of £10 every two weeks.
Knott was also made subject to a two-year restraining order, preventing him from contacting Sir Keir Starmer or Emily Thornberry and not to attend either MP’s constituency office.