Former Stoke-on-Trent election candidate jailed for racial hatred

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A former parliamentary candidate has been jailed after being found guilty of publishing inciting racial hatred.

Barbara Fielding-Morriss, 79, of Stuart Avenue, Draycott was handed a 12-month sentence for ‘threatening, abusive or insulting material’ published on her website following a trial at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court.

Appearing at Stafford Crown Court, she was found guilty of publishing racist messages and encouraging hatred towards different faiths and asylum seekers between September 2016 and February 2017.

Detective Sergeant Brent Wheat, officer in the case for Staffordshire Police, said: “Whilst freedom of speech is a very important element of our modern society, spreading hate and racism is not.

“We must do all we can to stamp out racism and the spreading of hate and I hope today’s sentence shows we take crimes of this nature extremely seriously.”

Fielding-Morriss had previously stood in last year’s Stoke-on-Trent by-election as an independent candidate and in the last general election.

She was arrested in February 2017 and admitted to being responsible for all the content published on her website, but she denied trying to stir up racial hatred.

The judge also ordered her to adhere to a Criminal Behaviour Order for the next three years.

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