Belfast Telegraph

Hoax bomb man jailed after threatening to kill Alliance MP Naomi Long

A man who threatened to kill East Belfast MP Naomi Long and left a hoax bomb outside the Alliance Party office has been given a three-year sentence.

Jonathan Ginn, from Dunraven Court in east Belfast, placed a hoax bomb outside the constituency office on the Upper Newtownards Road in October 2013.

But he was exposed because CCTV cameras captured his "distinctive walk", a symptom of Cerebral Palsy.

The 33-year-old made threats to kill both Naomi Long and Councillor Chris Lyttle, who he also intimidated.

Ginn will serve half of his sentence in prison and half on licence.

Detective Sergeant Mark Bell said:"“Since 3rd December 2012 the Alliance Party Offices have been subjected to various protests and threats.

"These ranged from protestors standing outside the offices with banners to individual members being threatened and hoax bombs being placed at their party premises.

"On 2nd October 2013 a device was placed outside the Alliance Party Office on the Upper Newtownards Road by a man wearing a flat cap and a high visibility jacket with a horizontal stripe. On CCTV footage, this man could be seen coming towards the building with an extremely distinctive walk.

“We carried out a rigorous investigation which included examining CCTV footage of the area and we were able to identify Ginn who was subsequently arrested. We conducted a search of his home where we seized a number of items including a high visibility jacket with a horizontal stripe, and two grey flat caps.

"We were able to ascertain that Ginn had an extremely distinctive walk because he suffered from Cerebral Palsy. When interviewed by police, he denied involvement but later pleaded guilty."

On 11 October 2014, Ginn made a threatening phone call from a public telephone box in Portadown to the Alliance Party Office in Belfast.

The phone call contained a threat to kill Naomi Long and Chris Lyttle. CCTV enquiries in Portadown showed Ginn entering the phone box at the time and staying within it for about five minutes.

Detective Sergeant Bell added: "His actions took place at a time when there were heightened tensions in the area and may indeed have increased them. Today’s sentence should be a warning to others that there are significant consequences for those who seek to threaten elected representatives just because they disagree with their views."

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