“Have faith in the justice system” – says death threat victim

Vino Vijayakumar
Vino Vijayakumar

A Worthing ex-councillor has spoken out after the man who made him a death threat at a polling station was imprisoned earlier today (Monday, October 9).

Stephen McIntyre, 45, said ‘what happened to Jo Cox will happen to you’ to Vino Vijayakumar, also known as Vino Vinojan, in a fit of rage outside the Tarring Priory Bowls Club building, in Church Road, on June 8 – the day of the general election.

He was found guilty of threatening behaviour with the intent to cause fear of unlawful violence and was today sentenced to 12 weeks in prison at Worthing Magistrates’ Court.

Speaking after the sentencing, Mr Vijayakumar told the Herald: “I’m pleased. It’s a good outcome.”

The former councillor, who runs Taylor’s Newsagents in South Street, Tarring, and also owns a security company, said the incident had left him frightened.

“I was shocked and felt frightened, the fact he had said those words at the time.

“I had to take the precaution of calling the police,” he said.

Mr Vijayakumar is urging anyone who finds themselves in a similar situation to report it to officers.

“I would like to say that if anyone feels threatened, they should always call the police and have faith in the justice system,” he said.

He added: “My heart goes out to the family of Jo Cox.

“Something like this should never have been said.”

McIntyre will serve half of his 12-week custodial sentence before being released on license.

He was also given a restraining order prohibiting him from contacting Mr Vijayakumar or going to Taylor’s Newsagents for two years.

At the sentencing, District Judge Christopher James described the offence as ‘extremely unpleasant’ and said it had caused ‘fear, alarm and distress’ to Mr Vijayakumar.