Jail Warning for Man who Scared Staff at Yorkshire MP Office
26 September 2016, 16:11
A man who frightened staff in an MP's constituency office three months before the death of her colleague Jo Cox has been warned he will be jailed if he ever repeats his aggressive behaviour.
Jaseem Saeed, 39, was handed a 12-month community order for affray in relation to his behaviour in the office of Dewsbury's Labour MP Paula Sherriff, where he became aggressive while asking for help with a passport application.
He admitted the charge before he went on trial at Leeds Crown Court, where he was cleared of two counts of making threats to kill.
Saeed, of Nelson Street, Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, appeared for the sentencing via video link from HMP Armley, where he has been held on remand since the offence on March 9.
Mr Justice Goss, who also appeared by video link from the Royal Courts of Justice, told him: "If you behave in this way again, I have already told you, you can expect a significant custodial sentence.''
Saeed received the community order and was told he must carry out 120 hours of unpaid work.
During the two-day trial in July, the judge heard case worker Julie Ward describe how Saeed was aggressive and shouting as he asked about getting a passport so he could travel to Iraq.
Mrs Ward told the jury that Saeed threatened to shoot her, although she did not see a gun.
She also said the defendant, who is from Iraq but had lived in the UK for 14 years, talked about getting a rifle and shooting students at a local college.
Saeed told police Mrs Ward and another member of staff had misunderstood what he said due to his poor English.
Following the not guilty verdicts on the threats to kill charges, Mr Justice Goss said it was "an ugly episode that caused fear''.
He said it appeared that Saeed does not suffer from any psychiatric conditions but does have "anger management issues''.
The judge said after the trial: "Here, unfortunately, we know that three months after he was behaving in this way a Member of Parliament lost her life.''
He went on: "People occupying such roles are entitled to be protected in so far as the law can protect them.''
Ms Sherriff's base is four miles from the constituency office in Birstall, West Yorkshire, where her colleague Mrs Cox was shot and stabbed to death in June.
Mrs Cox died when she was attacked outside her office in the town's library.