• Sunday, February 25, 2024

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Man jailed for threatening Priti Patel

Patel did not see the letter personally, and forensic testing was used to trace the writer

LONDON, ENGLAND – MARCH 22: Secretary of State for the Home Department Priti Patel walks in the House of Commons grounds on March 22, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

By: Kimberly Rodrigues

A 65-year-old man was sentenced to five months in jail by the Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London last week, for sending a threatening letter to former Home Secretary Priti Patel.

Pooneeraj Canakiah admitted to sending a grossly offensive letter to Patel.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in England stated that the letter, which was addressed to Patel and marked “personal letter,” was opened by a member of her staff on January 22, 2022, when she was the Home Secretary.

Patel did not see the letter personally, and forensic testing was used to trace the writer. The CPS also stated that the letter’s content was grossly offensive and abusive.

Senior Crown Prosecutor Lauren Doshi, from the Complex Casework Unit of the Crown Prosecution Service in London South, said, “Canakiah thought that he would not be caught, however, forensic analysis proved that he wrote the letter.

“This conviction and sentence sends a clear message that threats of this nature are taken very seriously and will not be tolerated. The CPS will not hesitate to prosecute such offences whenever our legal test is met.”

Canakiah, a healthcare sector worker from East London, was found to have written a letter to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) on top of the paper used for the threatening letter to Patel.

Forensic analysis of indentations in the paper uncovered Canakiah’s name and address, while further examination of the handwriting on both the envelope and the letter confirmed him as the author.

Initially, when questioned by the police, Canakiah denied having written the letter. However, he eventually pleaded guilty to a single offence of sending a letter conveying an indecent or offensive message in March of last year.

With inputs from PTI

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