A woman whose death threats led to a UK MP's children fleeing their home in the middle of the night and the arrest of an innocent family has been jailed for three and a half years.
Bradford West MP Naz Shah has described how she rang 999 following “an immediate firearms threat” after receiving a disguised email sent by Sundas Alam.
Alam, from Bradford, West Yorkshire, was jailed for 18 months for sending malicious communications and was given a further two years for perverting the course of justice.
The email, sent in April last year, threatened Ms Shah with a “bullet in her head".
A judge at York Crown Court heard how Alam, 30, used cloned email addresses, which led to an innocent couple and another relative being dragged out of their beds in the middle of the night by armed police and being questioned for 20 hours by officers responding to the Labour MP's emergency call.
Sentencing Alam on Friday, Judge Sean Morris referenced the killings of MPs Jo Cox and Sir David Amess.
“There has to be an element of deterrent, especially in the light of recent tragic events,” Judge Morris said.
“Members of Parliament dedicate their lives to the service of their constituents and their country. They should not have to put up with threats. It should not be something that goes with the job.”
Judge Morris said: “The communications you had with the member of Parliament were disgraceful, terrifying and shameful. You made serious threats towards her of the most vile and worrying kind.”
The judge said the involvement of the innocent family was one of the most serious cases of perverting the course of justice he had come across in many years.
He said: “Because you had threatened the MP with a bullet in her head, the police rightly had to take that extremely seriously.
“And thus it was that armed police charged into [their] house in the dead of night, throwing people to the floor and arresting them, traumatising an elderly relative.”