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Aristocrat faces jail over menacing posts

By PA Reporters

A viscount who offered money on Facebook for someone to kill Brexit campaigner Gina Miller faces jail after being convicted of sending menacing messages.

Rhodri Philipps (50), the 4th Viscount St Davids, wrote a message just four days after Ms Miller won a landmark High Court challenge against the Government last year.

He posted: "£5,000 for the first person to 'accidentally' run over this bloody troublesome first generation immigrant."

He described her as a "boat jumper" and added: "If this is what we should expect from immigrants, send them back to their stinking jungles."

Philipps, of Knightsbridge, central London, was convicted of two counts of sending menacing messages on a public electronic communications network and cleared of one count after a trial at Westminster Magistrates' Court.

Senior district judge Emma Arbuthnot said: "I had no doubt that the first post was menacing ... You were offering money to have her killed."

She continued: "Looking at the language you use to Ms Miller ... 'f****** jumper'. That is not political debate."

The judge added: "To some who don't know you they would perceive the offers of bounty as menacing."

Ms Arbuthnot found the post about Ms Miller to be racially aggravated and told Philipps he faces a prison sentence.

Ms Miller (52) said she found his comments about her "genuinely shocking" and she felt "violated".

She said she was "very scared for the safety of herself and her family" in a statement read to the court on Monday.

"In addition to finding it offensive, racist and hateful, she was extremely concerned that someone would threaten to have her run over for a bounty," prosecutor Philip Stott said in opening.

"She took the threat seriously, and it contributed to her employing professional security for her protection."

Ms Miller was subjected to a torrent of abuse and threats after spearheading the legal challenge which forced Theresa May to consult Parliament before beginning the formal process of leaving the EU.

The Guyana-born mother-of-three was seen arriving at court as a witness but did not give evidence as her statement was agreed.

The other post Philipps was convicted for was in response to a news article about an immigrant. He wrote: "I will open the bidding. £2,000 in cash for the first person to carve Arnold Sube into pieces. Piece of s***."

Ms Arbuthnot said the posts would "cause apprehension in a reasonable person reading them in this multi-racial country we live in".

Philipps will be sentenced tomorrow.

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