A former Cambridge University research fellow who worked in a top-secret government laboratory was arrested for sending fake poison to Theresa May.
54-year-old Christopher Doyle was sentenced today to two years and ten months in prison for sending the white powder to the then Prime Minister in 2018 and taking indecent pictures of children.
The package, which was addressed to the NSDAP, also contained a caricature of the beheaded Tory leader, a picture of the former spy Alexander Litvinenko and a message that flowed into Ms. May's policy on Russia.
The scientist from Widnes, Cheshire, tried to dispense the fake poison just a month after the Salisbury Novichok attack on Sergei Skripal when the country was shocked by the use of chemical nerve agents on British soil.
Doyle's joke packet was intercepted and the substance was later found to be harmless citric acid.
But it sparked a counterterrorism investigation that resulted in a raid on Doyle's house that found more than 245,000 indecent pictures of children on a laptop.
54-year-old Christopher Doyle (pictured) was sentenced today to two years and ten months in prison for sending the white powder to the then Prime Minister in 2018 and taking indecent pictures of children
The package addressed to Theresa May (picture 2019) was intercepted, and it was later discovered that the substance is harmless citric acid
Judge Anil Murray sentenced Doyle at Liverpool Crown Court, saying: “Sergei Skripal had been poisoned less than a month before this letter was opened, so the poisoning issue was high in the nation's consciousness.
"This was a serious criminal offense, intended by you to instill fear of danger to human life."
The post was checked on April 5, 2018 in a Swiss Post screening facility that had to be evacuated.
Specialized Police said the envelope was postmarked March 28 at the Warrington Mail Center and found DNA evidence on the stamp that led them to Doyle.
Doyle, who had a PhD in neuroscience and previously worked at the Porton Down state facility, declined to ship the powder.
The court heard he told officials he believed the powder may have been planted in the letter from MI5 or MI6.
He also told police he had also written a letter to Boris Johnson criticizing his stance on Russia and a letter to then Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn praising him.
In a police interview after his arrest, he claimed he was a scientist in the 1990s "with access to some of the deadliest agents in the world" but had not worked since 2002.
The scientist from Widnes, Cheshire, tried to dispense the fake poison just a month after the Salisbury Novichok attack on Sergei Skripal (right, with daughter Yulia) when the country was shocked by the use of chemical nerve agents on British soil
When asked if he had included a fake poison in the letter, he said it was "pathetic" and that he would "rather be hung for a sheep than a lamb" and could have included a real one.
Grilled during the process of that statement, he said, "Yeah, if I did something crazy, I might as well go totally insane."
The court heard that the scientist suffered from bipolar affective disorder and was isolated and spending time on pro-Russian Facebook groups.
The court heard that the scientist suffered from bipolar affective disorder and was isolated and spending time on pro-Russian Facebook groups
Mark Pritchard, who defended himself, said Doyle had lived with agoraphobia since 2013 following the death of a friend.
He said, “He has gone from being a successful research fellow at Cambridge University to an almost isolated life.
"He was in a bubble of pro-Russian Facebook groups that he was a member of."
Judge Murray told the defendant, “You are a very intelligent man. You know the effects of your condition. These were not spontaneous crimes. & # 39;
Joseph Allman, the prosecutor, said when police raided Doyle's home on Fir Street, they found more than 245,000 indecent pictures of children on a laptop.
Doyle pleaded guilty to taking indecent photos of children but suggested to jury that many of them were legal and, in fact, "beautiful and artistic."
Judge Murray said he did not accept Doyle's claim that he did not use them for his own sexual gratification.
Doyle was also ordered to sign the Sex Offender Register and was the subject of a sexual harm prevention order.
Doyle has a joint attack conviction in 1998 that he shrugged off as a minor scuffle when he was "in the middle of a major breakdown".
The court heard today that the attack was directed against his eight-year-old stepson.
(tagsToTranslate) Dailymail (t) Nachrichten (t) Russia (t) Theresa May