Election candidate admits homophobic harassment
PUBLISHED: 12:58 23 December 2010
ONE of Weston’s 2010 General Election candidates has admitted persecuting a gay colleague with a string of bigoted and malicious text messages.
David Bradley represented the Labour Party during the town’s May ballot, securing third place with close to 6,000 votes.
But this week he appeared at Bristol Magistrates Court to plead guilty to harassing a political colleague through a series of 33 homophobic phone messages.
Between March and August this year, which includes the time when he was campaigning to be Weston’s MP, Bradley bombarded colleague Ed Bramall with texts branding him a ‘bum rapist’ and ‘gay lord’.
Other messages told Mr Bramall to ‘kill himself’ and suggested gay people should be thrown in a ‘big hole filled with dog poo’ and set on fire.
Richard Levene of the Crown Prosecution Service, said: “As a prosecution team we take this type of offence very seriously and seek to prosecute wherever there is sufficient evidence to do so.
“Mr Bradley acted in a way which was clearly intended to cause distress to his victim. He pleaded guilty to harassment and will be sentenced accordingly next month.”
It was suggested to the court that 29-year-old Bradley began the vendetta after being overlooked for a Labour position in Bristol in favour of Mr Bramall.
Bradley’s solicitor Anna Van Wely said he had been going through a ‘difficult time’ and had been drinking to excess.
She added that he had also been suffering from mental health problems, but had since expressed remorse for his actions and taken steps to curb his drinking.
However, Bradley’s conviction looks likely to have put paid to his political aspirations.
A spokesman for the South West Labour Party said: “David Bradley has been suspended from the Labour Party, and as a result cannot attend party meetings, other than his own local branch, or stand for election as a Labour candidate.
“Once the court has reached its verdict, there will be an internal party investigation into the matter.”
Bradley has been released on unconditional bail, and will be sentenced by magistrates on January 10.