Man who caused MP “considerable distress” after bombarding her with messages is jailed

Independent South Cambs MP Heidi Allen. Picture: Office of Heidi Allen

Independent South Cambs MP Heidi Allen. Picture: Office of Heidi Allen - Credit: Archant

A man who became obsessed with MP Heidi Allen has been jailed.

Ian Couch, aged 59, turned up at the MP's home and posted images of her property online.

Couch first met Ms Allen at a Remembrance Day service in November 2017. Following this meeting, he sent her a stream of emails, which were unrelated to her role, and relentlessly contacted her on Twitter about Brexit, to the extent she felt she had no option but to block him.

On November 18 last year, Couch attended Ms Allen's home, uninvited, asking her to return his war medals to then Prime Minister Theresa May.

Following this, he posted messages on social media, which included aerial photos of the MP's home and a rough description of where the property was. He bragged that people had requested he post her exact address but said he wouldn't do that "out of respect" for her.

Couch, of Broad End, Elsworth, admitted six counts of sending offensive or menacing communications.

On August 8, at Westminster Crown Court, Couch was sentenced to 24 weeks' in prison. He was also handed an indefinite restraining order preventing him from contacting Ms Allen.

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Detective Sergeant James Rabbett said: "Members of Parliament, like any other member of the public, have the right to live their lives without intimidation or fear for their safety.

"Couch's behaviour became increasingly concerning and caused Ms Allen considerable distress."