A man who sent MP Dehenna Davison harassing emails calling her a “b*tch” and “neo-Nazi” over the course of 10 months has been spared jail.

Raymond Batchelor, 42, appeared before Newton Aycliffe Magistrates Court on Thursday (February 16) morning where he was handed an eight-week suspended sentence and restraining order.

He pleaded guilty last month (January 17) to a charge of harassment without violence against the Bishop Auckland MP and her chief of staff Jack Bell.

Read more: MP gets into bizarre Twitter 'spat' with man who sticks middle finger up at office

Speaking after the case Ms Davison said MPs are at “daily risk of being abused” and that abusive behaviour must be stamped out.

The court heard that Batchelor sent emails amounting to harassment to Ms Davison’s parliamentary email address between July 19, 2021 and May 12, 2022.

The Northern Echo: Dehenna Davison received harassing emails from Batchelor to her Parliamentary email address over a 12 month spell.Dehenna Davison received harassing emails from Batchelor to her Parliamentary email address over a 12 month spell. (Image: SARAH CALDECOTT)

A statement read by Mr Garside, prosecuting, detailed how Batchelor referred to Ms Davison as a “b*tch”, “servant”, “corrupt” and “neo-Nazi” in emails.

The court heard how Batchelor was asked to stop sending the emails by Ms Davison’s office and was later visited by police. On one occasion he sent a further email three days after being spoken to by officers.

Defending, John Turner, told the court Batchelor had apologised, although admitted this had been “half hearted”, and that no further emails had been sent since last year.

Mr Turner said: “He would be rather silly to continue now he knows what the consequences are”.

He detailed how Batchelor had been a hard-working man with a daughter but had struggled with worsening health problems since 2001.

The 42-year-old, of Eskdale Gardens, Shildon, County Durham, appeared before Judge Hood wearing jeans and a hoodie.

To get more stories direct to your email basket go here 

Batchelor was handed a 12-month restraining order, preventing any contact with Ms Davison which causes harassment, alarm, or distress. He will still be allowed to contact her office as a constituent for genuine matters.

He will have to abide to an eight-week curfew between 10pm and 8am, monitored by an electronic tag. He will also be required to complete 40 days of rehabilitation activity and pay a £128 surcharge and £85 costs.

The Northern Echo: Raymond Batchelor was sentenced at Newton Aycliffe Magistrates Court on Thursday (February 16) morning.Raymond Batchelor was sentenced at Newton Aycliffe Magistrates Court on Thursday (February 16) morning. (Image: STUART BOULTON)

Sentencing Batchelor, Judge Hood warned him that failure to comply with his sentence could see him face time behind bars.

Speaking after the short sentencing hearing today (Thursday, February 16), the Bishop Auckland MP said: “Going into public life, you expect to be subject to heightened scrutiny, but sadly these days there is a daily risk of being abused.

"I’m very lucky to have an incredible team who shield me from much of the abuse that comes through the office but, ultimately, I know the toll it takes on them too.

“When abusers emerge, it is right to call them out. We need to do everything we can to make sure good people are not put off entering political life, whether as an elected representative or a member of an MPs’ office. Stamping out abusive behaviour is one way we can all help. I’m also grateful to Durham Police for their support throughout this case.”

Last September a woman who harassed Jarrow MP Kate Osborne by sending her abusive and homophobic tweets was handed an 18 month restraining order to stay away from Ms Osborne.

Davison, 29, announced in November that she plans to stand down at the next General Election.

Speaking at the time she said: “For my whole adult life, I’ve dedicated the vast majority of my time to politics, and to help make people’s lives better.

“But, to be frank, it has meant I haven’t had anything like a normal life for a twenty-something.      

“I will always be humbled to have had the opportunity to serve as a Member of Parliament. But now the time feels right for me to devote more of my attention to life outside politics - mainly to my family and helping support them as they’ve helped support me.”

Read next:

Get more from The Northern Echo. Save 20% on a Premium Plus digital subscription this month. Click here