Man found guilty of threatening ‘traitor’ Labor MP with noose | UK News

A man has been found guilty of threatening a Labor MP after he held a makeshift gallows with a noose outside parliament and said: ‘That’s what we do to traitors.’

Lance O’Connor, 57, called out the name of Hove MP Peter Kyle as he walked through Parliament Square in central London on October 20 last year, the First Court heard on Tuesday Westminster body.

The lawsuit was told that O’Connor then pointed to a 6ft gallows before shouting the threat.

Kyle, 51, a former charity sector executive, was elected to parliament in 2015 and is shadow secretary of state for Northern Ireland.

O’Connor, from Plaistow, east London, appeared in court holding a gallows-shaped wooden cane with a small noose.

Lance O’Connor holding a makeshift gallows with a noose outside parliament. Photograph: Peter Kyle/PA

He said he built the gallows to protest the ‘draconian’ lockdown measures and to remind the government that ‘treason is always punishable by the gallows’, although he denied aiming or shouting anything at Kyle .

District Judge Neeta Minhas found O’Connor guilty of causing harassment, alarm or distress to Kyle, after a short trial.

She handed O’Connor a 12-month parole, meaning he must commit no further offenses during that time, and ordered him to pay £660, including £200 to Kyle.

O’Connor said he would appeal the ruling and was heard muttering “complete travesty” as he left court.

During the trial, Kyle told the court he felt “chilled” and “threatened” by the incident, which came less than a week after the murder of Tory MP Sir David Amess.

He said he was returning to parliament after a working lunch when he heard his name being called “in a cry of anger”.

“I briefly looked at what I was seeing and then walked away, but as I went on I turned around to get another look because I couldn’t believe what I was seeing,” did he declare. “I saw a man standing there holding a gallows with a noose in Parliament Square.

“The word ‘traitor’ was being used and then when I looked across the road a man said, ‘That’s what we do with traitors.'”

Kyle said he then saw the man pointing at the noose. He also took a photo of the scene, which he later posted on Twitter and showed in court.

He said he ran back to his office after the incident because he saw the man’s action as a “direct threat to myself and a direct threat to other members of parliament”.

He added that after Amess’ death there had been a “chilling atmosphere around Westminster, so to see that was awful”.

The court heard that another man, Stephen Tiller, who was on his way to another protest, approached the defendant when he saw the gallows and asked, “What’s the point?”

“He said, ‘All those motherfuckers in there’ and pointed to parliament,” Tiller told the court.

Questioned by Martin Smith, defending, Kyle said he did not speak to the defendant at the meeting because security told the deputies not to engage with threatening protesters.

When asked if he knew for sure it was the defendant who had shouted the threat, Kyle replied, “To the best of my knowledge. I’m pretty sure it was the person pointing the gallows whose mouth was moving.

O’Connor told the court he didn’t know Kyle was an MP and claimed Kyle approached him and asked, “Do you think that’s appropriate?”

“I pointed to the Palace of Westminster across the road and said, ‘What I think is inappropriate is the drastic action that parliamentarians have taken,'” O’ said. Connor.

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