Man who threatened to kill Sunderland Labour MP Bridget Phillipson warned he faces jail

A man who threatened to kill a Labour MP has been warned he may be jailed.

Wednesday, 22nd January 2020, 9:55 am

Colin Brown has pleaded guilty to with making a threat to kill Bridget Phillipson, MP for Houghton and Sunderland South, in May 2019.

During a hearing at Newcastle Crown Court the 49-year-old has also admitted assault, common assault and using threatening and abusive or insulting words and behaviour to cause harassment, alarm or distress.

The offences happened at Hopewood Park Hospital in Ryhope, Sunderland, where Brown was living as a patient at the time.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Colin Brown

He made the threat to kill the MP, who is a married mum, to a doctor at the hospital, "intending the doctor to fear the threat would be carried out".

Prosecutors say he also threw boiling water across the ward and picked up two chairs, which he threw at a window.

Brown, of no fixed address, will be sentenced in March and has been allowed conditional bail, which includes a ban on any direct or indirect contact with Mrs Phillipson or attending any public meeting or event that would beexpected to be at, in the meantime.

Judge Julie Clemtison ordered the preparation of reports and warned him: "I am giving you no indication as to the sort of sentence that might be passed.

Bridget Phillipson

"Much will depend on the contents of the psychiatric report and the pre-sentence report.

"It is in your interests to co-operate and you should prepare yourself for any sentence and that includes custody."

Penny Hall, defending, said the accepted the offences were "serious" and added: "At the time of the offences Mr Brown was in hospital, detained under the Mental Health Act.

"He was discharged from hospital on January 13 and is currently the subject of a community treatment order, which essentially means if he did not comply with treatment requirements he may well end up detained further, under the Mental Health Act.

Colin Brown

"Although the matter is serious, it is the position where he was suffering from mental health issues at the time."

Mrs Phillipson was first elected to the seat on 6th May 2010, and was re-elected at the 2015, 2017 and 2019 General Elections.

She joined the Labour party at aged 15 and studied modern history at Hertford College, Oxford.