A Christian man who threatened to kill the head of Britain’s largest LGBT rights organisation, Stonewall, has been given a suspended sentence.
Anthony Ryan was found guilty of making threats to kill and was sentenced to eight months imprisonment – which was suspended for 18 months, UK gay news site PinkPaper reports.
He has also been given a community order and will be supervised by the probation service for 12 months.
The case is thought to be the first case of its kind in the UK.
Ryan had threatened Ben Summerskill (pictured), the chief executive of Stonewall, in an email in January after Summerskill published an article about a gay couple (Steven Preddy and Martyn Hall) who claimed they were discriminated against by Christian hotel owners who wouldn’t let them share a bed.
Stonewall immediately reported the threat to police who later arrested Ryan.
The email to Summerskill read:
“With regard to the recent so-called victory that evil sexual weirdos Steven Preddy and Martyn Hall had against decent law-abiding B&B owners Peter and Hazelmary Bull. It is my duty to inform your evil organisation that, despite what the government says, according to the holy Christian Bible, homosexuality is in fact illegal… I have therefore decided to embark upon a campaign of terror against you Chief Executive Dame Ben Summerskill and all those that seek to support the so-called human rights of the Homosexual community… It is going to give me great pleasure to put a bullet in the head of Dame Ben Summerskill, Steven Preddy and Martyn Hall and any other homosexual vermin that I have the misfortune to come across… I suggest that the people mentioned in this email and indeed all evil biggoted [sic] Homosexual scum start making their funeral arrangements.”
Read more about the case over at PinkPaper.