Gina Miller has told a court she felt “violated” when an aristocrat wrote a Facebook post offering a bounty to anyone who would run her over and referred to her as a “bloody troublesome immigrant”.
Rhodri Colwyn Philipps, the 4th Viscount St Davids, is standing trial charged with three counts of making malicious communications for the messages he sent after Ms Miller won a Brexit legal challenge against the Government last November.
Lord St Davids, 50, of Knightsbridge, told Westminster Magistrates’ Court the posts were not “menacing” in nature.
He wrote on the social media site on 7 November 2016: “£5,000 for the first person to ‘accidentally’ run over this bloody troublesome first generation immigrant.”
He then described Ms Miller as a “boat jumper” and added: “If this is what we should expect from immigrants, send them back to their stinking jungles.”
Four days later he posted about “torturing Tony Blair, Hilary Clinton, ISIS, Dave (PM) the forgettable, Murdoch….. Oh and that hideous jumped up immigrant Gina Miller”.
He also posted two comments in which he branded immigrants “monkeys”. In a post not directed towards Ms Miller, he wrote: “Please will someone smoke this ghastly insult to this country, why should I pay tax to feed these monkeys?
“A return to Planet of the Apes is not acceptable.”
In a previous post he said: “I would vote for Trump if I could.”
He talked about a “new crusade” and “collective register of Muslims” and added: “Makes the job a lot easier for our collective SIS [intelligence agencies] to track down non-conformists, and frankly, shoot them on the spot.
“The tyranny of Islam and it’s ignorant (goat f******) brethren has to be destroyed.”
The post was read to court but deemed inadmissible as bad character evidence by senior district judge, Emma Arbuthnot.
Asked what he meant by the term “immigrant”, Lord St Davids told the court: “She’s not part of the future”, and added: “She’s been here less than a generation.”
Ms Miller came to public attention when she led the successful legal challenge against the Government resulting in a ruling that it had to consult Parliament before beginning the formal Brexit process.
She told the court she had been the subject of death threats ever since the Article 50 case.
The Guyana-born businesswoman told the court in a statement that she was “very scared for the safety of herself and her family”.
Prosecutor Philip Stott said: “In addition to finding it offensive, racist and hateful, she was extremely concerned that someone would threaten to have her run over for a bounty.
“She took the threat seriously, and it contributed to her employing professional security for her protection.”
Lord St Davids, who was defending himself, accepted that he wrote the posts but argued they were not publicly visible or menacing in nature.
He said of Ms Miller: “If you’re in the public eye, people are going to say nasty things about you. It’s the rough and tumble of public life.”
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He denied being racist and told the court: “I know a number of Muslims who are dear friends.
“My own mother is an immigrant from the very same continent (as Ms Miller).”
Lord St Davids denies the charges against him and the trial continues.
The Press Association contributed to this report