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Man sentenced to 11 months in jail for sending Deputy Leader of the Labour Party Angela Rayner malicious communications

Patrick Tolmie (08/10/1988) of Fairfax Court, Hemlington, Middlesborough appeared at Manchester Crown Court on Monday 19 February 2024, and was sentenced to 11 months in prison for sending malicious communications to Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, Angela Rayner.

Tolmie was also required to pay a £187 victim surcharge and was given a 10 year restraining order. Tolmie pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to making a grossly offensive phone call to Ms Rayner in January 2023.

This sentencing follows an investigation carried out by Greater Manchester Police (GMP) - codenamed Operation Octant - into malicious communications sent to Ms Rayner. Detective Inspector Christopher Dean of GMP's Tameside CID said: “I am pleased the sentencing reflects the severity of the offence. Sending repugnant and abusive communications to others is distressing and can have far-reaching consequences for victims. 

“Whilst the victim in this case is a prominent public figure, behind that, Ms Rayner is still a person, and abuse directed towards her affects not just her, but her family and staff as well.

“This investigation was carried out by my team as part of Operation Octant, with support from our colleagues within Cleveland Police. The operation brings the total number of people sentenced to five.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank Ms Rayner, her family and her wider team for the strength and courage they have shown in supporting this investigation. I hope today’s result goes some way towards assuring them, and the wider public, that Greater Manchester Police is committed to keeping people safe and caring for victims.

“My message to anyone who is considering sending abusive or threatening messages to people is quite simply do not do it. Hiding behind emails and phone calls does not lessen the impact and what you think may be 'just an email' can result in a criminal conviction. GMP will do everything in its power to take robust action against you.”

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