A Labour election candidate who bombarded a gay colleague with homophobic text messages after losing out to him in a party election has been spared jail.
Bitter David Bradley, 29, from Bristol, sent 33 texts to stunned rival Ed Bramall, 33, which referred to homosexuals as ”bum rapists” and ”gay lords”.
One text read: ”Bearded gays should be buried alive in industrial-sized dog poo holes.”
Another stated: ”All the gay bum boys in Bristol should be dumped in a big hole filled with dog poo.
”A helicopter should then fly over the dog poo hole and douse the gays in flammable liquid and then the dog poo should be ignited burning the gays alive.”
Bradley – who failed to win the seat of Weston-super-Mare for Labour at the General Election in May – sent the messages between March and August last year.
They began after members of the Labour Party selected Mr Bramall to fight the Whitchurch Park ward at this year’s local elections.
Bradley let out an audible sigh of relief at Bristol Magistrates Court on Monday when he was told his eight-week prison sentence would be suspended.
Mr Bramall, who is openly gay, alerted police after the messages – which branded him as ”creepy”, ”vile” and ”racist” continued when he was away on holiday.
Prosecuting, Ian Jackson said: ”Mr Bramall thought it was the defendant because he could think of nobody else who might attack him in the same way.”
When arrested Bradley admitted what he had done but said he was not homophobic and was disgusted by his actions.
Defending Bradley, Anna Van Wely told Bristol Magistrates Court that he had been suffering from mental health issues, severe sleep deprivation and long-term depression.
As he sat in the dock with his head bowed she said: ”You can see from looking over at him the shame he feels, and the words ‘shame’, ‘disgust’ and ‘remorse’ in a letter he has sent encapsulate what he feels about this himself.
”He understands the significant effect that the text messages have had on Mr Bramall.
“Hopefully you can see this train of really unpleasant behaviour is an isolated incident during a bad time of depressive illness, sleeplessness, of drinking too much alcohol and a bad time at work.
”He accepts that his victim is completely blameless, is very apologetic and accepts his victim has shown a huge level of understanding.
”He is very remorseful for his behaviour.”
Sentencing Bradley, presiding magistrate Paul Rabbitts said: ”This offence was motivated by hostility to the victim’s sexual orientation, making this an aggravating factor.
”The text messages were sexually explicit, offensive and threatening.”
As well as the suspended sentence, Bradley was ordered to carry out 150 hours of community work.
He must also pay Mr Bramall £200 in compensation and £85 costs, and was made subject to a restraining order for one year.