A Brexit activist who was “obsessed” with former MP Anna Soubry has been jailed for 28 days for harassing her.
Amy Dalla Mura, 56, was found guilty after a trial of repeatedly targeting the ex-Independent Group for Change MP earlier this year.
Dalla Mura then also stood as an English Democrat candidate in Broxtowe, Nottinghamshire, against Ms Soubry.
Chief magistrate Emma Arbuthnot said Dalla Mura “showed an obsession and fixation” with the politician.
Dalla Mura, of Eton Villas, Hove, was found guilty of harassment last month.
She was banned from campaigning in Broxtowe after the verdict, as well as contacting or mentioning Ms Soubry on social media.
Soubry ‘left frightened’
The court heard Dalla Mura targeted the MP between January and March this year, turning up at events and calling her a “traitor” on live television.
She disrupted an event where Ms Soubry was speaking, repeatedly interrupting her and live streaming the event on Facebook, and had to be escorted from the premises before the event continued.
A second incident saw Dalla Mura shouting “traitor” as Ms Soubry was interviewed live on BBC’s Newsnight in Parliament’s Central Lobby, while once again filming her on her phone.
Ms Soubry said she was left “frightened” following the incidents, but Dalla Mura did not accept this and claimed her behaviour was politically motivated.
She shouted “democracy is dead” and “shame on you” as she was sentenced on Monday.
“Ever since the murder of Jo Cox, MPs no longer feel able to put up with sustained intimidation,” said magistrate Ms Artbuthnot.
“This damages our democracy. Because who wants to put up with this sort of harassment?”
She said the bullying and intimidation that Dalla Mura used could “stop ordinary, decent people” becoming MPs.
Cdr Adrian Usher, from the Met Police, said the outcome showed the force’s “commitment to dealing robustly with incidents of harassment and abuse against MPs”.
“Strong political opinions are absolutely no excuse for intimidating elected representatives and police will always treat such allegations seriously and seek to bring offenders to justice,” he added.
Ms Soubry, who became a target for Brexiteers after quitting the Tory party earlier this year, lost her seat to Conservative candidate Darren Henry.
She received 4,668 votes as a candidate for the Independent Group for Change, while Dalla Mura received 432 votes.