October 28, 2021 7.00 am

Man in court over threats to Grimsby MP Lia Nici

Court told he was making her life ‘miserable’

By Local Democracy Reporter

A man has appeared in court after making Conservative Grimsby MP Lia Nici’s life ‘miserable’ with a campaign of threatening behaviour.

She says the harassment at her home left her and her family with no respite.

Nicholas Burrows, 49, of Cartledge Avenue, Grimsby, admitted using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour towards the Conservative MP.

She says Burrows, who is the friend of a neighbour, became ‘obsessed’ with her after she was selected as a candidate.

Burrows admitted offences between July 30 and August 2, but Mrs Nici says it had gone on for much longer.

She has condemned abusive behaviour towards MPs, which comes just weeks after Sir David Amess was fatally stabbed, and says it won’t stop her from carrying out her duties.

“Since being selected as candidate for Great Grimsby MP, I have been subject to ongoing incidents from this person at my home,” she said.

“I have lived in the same house for more than 20 years with no problems, but a friend of a neighbour became obsessed with harassing me.

“He clearly decided it would be funny to make my life and my family’s life miserable.

“When this happens at home, you don’t get a moment with your friends or family. There is no respite.

“I am pleased that he has admitted this in court, and I hope this will make him reflect on his actions.

“People need to understand that MPs are people working hard and trying to do the best job they can for their constituency.

“Police and parliamentary security have been great support while dealing with this.

“It is sad that MPs in this day and age need protection because people feel it is acceptable to treat them like this.

“Safety is always a concern. Since the murder of Jo Cox, MPs have received briefings from police and security on how to act and be vigilant.

“This event will not stop us from doing what we were elected to do. In a healthy democracy, we need to hear each other out – acting like this is quite unacceptable.

“I am happy to have a debate with anyone if they are not going to abusive.

“What also people need to understand is that my offices in Grimsby and London have teams who staff them. When people get aggressive with me, the staff are often the ones who receive it.

“Social media certainly doesn’t help – people say things on there that they would never say in person.

“The actions of people like this won’t stop me from working hard for Grimsby.”

Burrows was fined £400 when he appeared at Grimsby Magistrates’ Court.

He was also ordered to pay £85 costs and a £34 victims’ surcharge by a deputy district judge.

Humberside Police have confirmed that Home Secretary Priti Patel has asked for the security arrangements of northern Lincolnshire MPs to be reviewed.

“The fatal stabbing of MP Sir David Amess was a despicable act and quite rightly, has sent shockwaves across the UK,” a spokesperson said.

“The Home Secretary has asked all police forces to review security arrangements for MPs with immediate effect and we can confirm that we are underway with how we can do that for all MPs across the Humberside region.

“We are working with other forces across the UK, along with the Home Office, to agree an approach on how best to ensure the safety of our MPs, and more widely, our communities at large.”

— Additional reporting by Mark Naylor

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