Dentist given hospital order after making threat to kill MP Barry Gardiner

A disgruntled dentist who tweeted his local MP suggesting he would be “stabbed, shot, beheaded” during a four-year campaign of harassment has been locked up.

Amit Kerai, 34, was handed a hospital order after he pleaded guilty to making the threat in August 2022 against Labour’s Barry Gardiner, who is MP for Brent North in London.

Mr Gardiner was sent a tweet by Kerai which suggested he would be “stabbed, shot, beheaded”, after contacting the MP’s office on August 4 2022, the Old Bailey heard on Thursday.

He added: “I consider the level of security offered to MPs to be lamentably poor.

“I refuse to allow these threats to reduce my accessibility to my constituents and I still hold surgeries and take public transport and attend other public meetings, but I feel that the job of being a Member of Parliament now places a much greater strain on my staff and family than when I began in Parliament 25 years ago.”

Kerai also admitted two charges of putting other people in fear of violence by harassment in abusive and threatening emails, tweets and telephone calls between 2019 and 2022.

The defendant, of Crundale Avenue, Barnet, north-west London, sent an electronic communication with intent to cause distress or anxiety on August 2 2022 to call centre staff at the General Dental Council.

The court heard he had a grudge after being made subject to an interim suspension by the General Dental Council, which later was made permanent.

Old Bailey stock
Amit Kerai, 34, was handed a hospital order after he pleaded guilty to threatening Labour MP Barry Gardiner at the Old Bailey (Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA)

Mr Percival said in a victim impact statement that the hundreds of personal tweets sent by Kerai “occupied his daily thoughts”.

He was more worried about the impact on his daughter Emily Vidovic and her safety, as she had an administrative role for the same organisation.

She received calls of a “threatening and sinister nature”, and Kerai had accessed her Instagram account so concerns were raised he might be seeking her home address, the court heard.

Kerai has “destroyed” Mr Percival’s day-to-day health and well-being, he added.

Ms Vidovic described in her victim impact statement how she has dealt with Kerai’s behaviour for a number of years.

She has been made to feel “uncomfortable, anxious and nervous” and it has had a “major impact on her”.

Ms Vidovic found the images posted online “highly distressing”.

She was starting out her career and “already feels her reputation has been ruined”.

A call from Kerai to Ms Vidovic was played to the court in which he said “I might actually come to your house and cut off your head”.

Kerai sent an estimated 10,400 tweets which included graphic images of the war in Ukraine, sexual violence and death.

Kerai also admitted charges of possessing cocaine and cannabis found during his arrest on August 5, 2022.

Judge Mark Lucraft KC said Kerai has been diagnosed with a “persistent delusional disorder” and sentenced Kerai to a hospital order under section 37 of the mental health act as well as a restraining order.

He said: “Over a four-year period you carried out what can only be described as a campaign of harassment.

“Not only was it deeply offensive, threatening, abusive and unpleasant, it also had a significant impact on all those affected by it.”

Kerai made “many baseless accusations” which included criminal activity and alleged the victims were “racists and fascists”, the judge added.

The harassment included making demands for money, defamation, intimidation, blackmail and coercion, the court heard.

Kerai had appeared at the Old Bailey by video link from a secure mental health unit.

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