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Viscount jailed for offering money for killing of Gina Miller

An aristocrat has been jailed for 12 weeks after offering money to anyone who would run over and kill Gina Miller, the campaigner whose court fight forced the government to consult parliament before triggering the Brexit process.

Rhodri Philipps, the fourth Viscount St Davids, was convicted on Tuesday of two counts of sending malicious communications. He wrote on Facebook that he would put up “£5,000 for the first person to ‘accidentally’ run over this bloody troublesome first-generation immigrant”, soon after she won her high court case.

Philipps, who is 50 and from the Knightsbridge area of central London, appeared in the dock wearing a pink shirt and green trousers and a waistcoat for his sentencing hearing.

In a statement read to the court, the prosecutor said Miller had “been the subject of a vicious hate campaign and vilified on social media outlets”. Philip Stott said she had been the victim of “racial and offensive personal slurs”, adding that she felt scared as a result.

The judge expressed doubt when, in mitigation, Philipps’s lawyer Sabrina Felix told the court of her client’s remorse. “It is quite a change in two days, isn’t it? Two days ago, he was explaining to me his racist views, as one might say,” the judge said.

Philipps paced back and forth in the dock and, invited to address the judge himself, said her “critique” of him at an earlier hearing had “struck a chord”. He had believed in his defence but had come to recognise that “much more is expected of me and so it should be”.

He told the judge: “When you looked at me and said ‘ashamed’, your intonation was like a streak of lightning.”

Philipps had described Miller as a “boat jumper”, adding: “If this is what we should expect from immigrants, send them back to their stinking jungles.”

He was also convicted over comments he made online in response to a news article about a man called Arnold Sube, who was reported to have turned down a five-bedroom council house for his family of eight children. “I will open the bidding. 2,000 in cash for the first person to carve Arnold Sube into pieces. Piece of shit,” he wrote.

Philipps accepted writing the posts but insisted they were neither publicly visible, nor menacing. He told the court: “My own mother is an immigrant from the very same continent [as Miller].”

Miller had said she found the posts “genuinely shocking” and said she felt “violated” by them. The campaigner said she was “very scared for the safety of herself and her family”.

Stott said at an earlier hearing: “In addition to finding it offensive, racist and hateful, she [Miller] was extremely concerned that someone would threaten to have her run over for a bounty.

“She took the threat seriously, and it contributed to her employing professional security for her protection.”

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