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Man sentenced for death threats to politicians

A 20-year-old has been sentenced to 100 hours of community service after he sent death threats to politicians including New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern and London mayor Sadiq Khan.

Matthew Burns, of Dundalk Road, Newtownhamilton, has pleaded guilty to sending online threats, reported the BBC.

Following the Christchurch attacks, he sent a photo of a gun to Ardern adding “You’re next.”

He also threatened London mayor Khan and his wife on social media, writing: “It would be a shame if something happened to her… like a bullet in the head and him too”.

Burns sent these offensive messages between June 2018 and March 2019.

At Newry Magistrates’ Court, district judge Eamonn King said Burns’ behaviour created a “monster”.

“I can understand that if there are issues in real life, that you don’t get a buzz in real life, you hope to get it on social media, and what happens… you create a monster,” he said.

“When you put offensive comments online you are met with a blizzard of responses and engagement. That increases your feeling of self-worth. You feel more important.

“Someone is listening to you and it increases your self-esteem, so you then say something even more outrageous and that escalates and escalates.”