01:05PM, Friday 20 November 2020
A Slough man has been jailed for sending malicious communications to members of Parliament – including one so disturbing it forced the evacuation of a building.
Wajid Shah, aged 27, of Connaught Road, was found guilty by a majority verdict at Southwark Crown Court following a six-day trial which concluded on October 6.
Returning to the same court today (November 20), Shah was jailed for two years for six counts of sending communications conveying a threatening message.
All of the communications that Shah sent via email conveyed a threat with the sole purpose of causing distress or anxiety to the recipient.
The offences, all against victims who were current or former MPs, occurred between March 27 and April 11, 2019.
Shah was first arrested in March last year, and after committing further offences, was re-arrested shortly afterwards.
He was charged with multiple offences under the Malicious Communications Act 1988.
Detective Inspector Will Crowther, based at Slough police station, said: “The nature of the messages that Shah sent to MPs were horrendous and caused the victims significant anxiety and distress.
“Even after his first arrest, Shah continued to offend, sending further messages which were threatening serious violence and death to the recipients.
“The nature of these messages was absolutely shocking, and I am pleased that the jury convicted Shah and he has now been jailed for these crimes.
“MPs face pressures of being public servants, and should never be targeted and subjected to such threatening insults and abuse.
“Shah felt that he could hide behind a keyboard of a computer to send these messages, and his intention was very clear that he wanted to cause great distress.
“The messages are too violent and graphic to describe, but would no doubt have caused tremendous upset. One of the messages even forced the evacuation of a building, such were the nature of the threats.
“Emails or social media communications, even if sent from the privacy of one’s own home, can be traced, and Thames Valley Police will not tolerate such behaviour and will bring offenders to justice.
“I hope that this sentence will be of some solace to the victims, who have every right to feel safe in the role that they carry out.
“Anybody who feels it is acceptable to use a computer to threaten violence and cause fear and hatred should think again. You will be pursued and prosecuted, and as is the case here, can end up with a prison sentence,” he said.
Tan Dhesi, Labour MP for Slough, was one of those targetted by Shah. On hearing of Shah's sentencing, he said:
"No one should be subject to abuse or death threats, whether online or in person, so I am relieved Mr Shah has been brought to justice for his frightening and shocking actions.
"I wish to convey my immense gratitude to Thames Valley Police and all those involved in helping to conclude this case for their hard work, and for acting swiftly to protect those of us who were affected."
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