Eastbourne MP responds to death-threat sentencing

Caroline Ansell
Caroline Ansell
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Caroline Ansell MP has spoken out after a man was jailed for threatening to kill her online.

Mark Sands was sentenced to four months in prison after he threatened to stab the town’s MP to death.

Mrs Ansell said, “I am relieved this very distressing incident is now over and I thank Sussex Police and the Crown Prosecution Service for the way they have handled the case.

“The threat made against me was very upsetting, especially for my family and close friends, and I would not wish it on anyone to experience such a thing.

“I do not have any anger towards Mark Sands for what he has done, but many people in public life, particularly women, have to contend with similar abuse and threats on social media sometimes every day, and it is time it was stopped.

“On that basis, I do welcome the court imposing a prison sentence today. The message needs to go out that posting such threats is utterly wrong and it has an adverse effect, not only on the person it is directed to, but also their family and friends.

“As a politician, I fully accept to be disagreed with and I fully accept people have strong feelings about what happens in our country. However, the line between the rough and tumble of political debate and abuse has blurred.

“My strong view is this needs to be more effectively dealt with by society making it clear it is unacceptable and by social media providers such as Facebook and Twitter better policing content.

“Finally, I would like to thank the member of the public who called the police when they saw the threat posted online.”

To see the full story on Sands’ sentencing, visit www.eastbourneherald.co.uk/news/breaking-man-who-threatened-to-kill-eastbourne-mp-jailed-1-7913029