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Sick factory worker who called himself a ‘trainee murderer’ online is jailed over vile death threats sent to Tory MP

A NUT who called himself a ‘’trainee murderer’’ was jailed for four months yesterday for posting a death threat to a Tory MP on Facebook.

Mark Sands said he wanted to stab Caroline Ansell after wrongly thinking she’d vote for a cut in disability benefit which would have left him out of pocket.

Mark Sands, 51, (pictured outside court) has been jailed for four months for making vile death threats to Eastbourne and Willingdon MP Caroline Ansell
PA:Press Association

The 51-year-old posted: “If you vote to take £30 off my money, I will personally come round to your house… and stab you to death.”

On his social network the factory worker listed his job as: “The Killing Fields, Trainee Murderer.”

He also posted other messages including “End poverty, kill a Tory now”.

Under his political views, Sands had “Kill your local MP”, and a picture of murdered Labour MP Jo Cox also featured on his page with the words “sawn-off 2.2”.

He admitted sending via electronic communications a message that was grossly offensive to Ms Ansell – MP for Eastbourne – last month.


Prosecutor Martina Sherlocktold the court that following his arrest, Sands told a mental health nurse: “It’s not like I killed her, maybe I should.”

Jailing him yesterday at Brighton magistrates court, District Judge Christopher James said: “It was clearly designed to instil fear in her and it has succeeded in that intent by unsettling and unnerving her deeply.”

“This was not an isolated incident that could be said to be out of character, this was the most extreme post in a series of derogatory posts to MPs including Caroline Ansell.”

In a victim impact statement read in court, Ms Ansell said she found the threats “chilling” and they led her to close her personal Facebook account.

She added: “It felt like a brush with something sinister.”

Sands made threats to Tory MP Caroline Ansell saying he would to ‘stab her’
PA:Press Association

Madeleine Priestley, defending Sands, of Eastbourne, said that her client had wrongly believed that Mrs Ansell had voted for a cut to disability benefit that would have affected his income.

She said the post was the “mistake of his life” and added: “It wasn’t intended for a wider audience of millions.

“It was just an empty threat, he wasn’t thinking, just venting political frustration.”

After the sentencing, Ms Ansell described finding out about the message last November.

She said: “I remember where I was when I picked up the call from my local police to say that they had seen a credible threat against my life and that a local man had been arrested and was in custody.

“I was at home it was a Sunday morning and I wasn’t expecting that.”

District Judge James also granted an indefinite restraining order banning him from contacting the MP.

Det Con Dan Thomson, of Sussex Police said: “People use social media to express their opinion and views and in most cases this is fine.

“But many people post things they would never dream about saying in the real world or to someone’s face.

“They think there is the guise of anonymity but where their posts cross the boundary into criminal behaviour we will act and deal with it robustly.”