Labour election candidate bombarded gay colleague with homophobic texts

A Labour election candidate bombarded a gay colleague with homophobic text messages after losing out to him in a party election, it emerged today.

Bitter David Bradley, 29, sent 33 texts to stunned rival Ed Bramall, 33, which referred to homosexuals as ”bum rapists” and ”gay lords”.

One text read: ”All the gay bum boys in Bristol should be dumped in a big hole filled with dog poo.

”A helicopter should then fly over the dog poo hole and douse the gays in flammable liquid and then the dog poo should be ignited burning the gays alive.”

Bradley – who failed to win the seat of Weston-super-Mare for Labour at the General Election in May – sent the messages between March 26 and August 26.

They began after members of the Labour Party selected Mr Bramall to fight the Whitchurch Park ward at this year’s local elections.

One message read: ”I am not homosexual, find a fellow gay to stare at” while another said: ”I wish you and your sad boyfriend would leave me alone”.

Another text said that Mr Bramall was a ”Michael Barrymore-type individual” – while others continually referred to him as ”creepy” and ”vile”.

Openly gay Mr Bramall, who lives in Totterdown, Bristol, said the only thing that could have triggered the vendetta was being chosen instead of Bradley to represent Labour in the ward.

He said: ”He had a grudge because I got something that he wanted and he decided to display his displeasure by doing what he did.

”Prior to that there had been no altercation with him, so it’s the only thing that makes sense.

”His later texts made references to places and meetings so it made me think it was someone connected with the Labour Party. He just increasingly gave himself away.

”He clearly has some mental health issues. I don’t really hold any malice towards him. I just think it’s sad that he has done it and got himself in this situation.”

Bradley pleaded guilty to a charge of harassment with violence by sending the text messages to Mr Bramall’s mobile phone at Bristol Magistrates Court on Thursday.

Angela Edwards, prosecuting, said: ”The victim said he found the messages unpleasant and upsetting. He worried when his phone went off it was going to be another message.

”Mr Bradley was subsequently arrested and made full admissions. He said he had sent unpleasant messages to someone who had upset him.

”He was very apologetic and repeatedly said he was ashamed by what he had done and disgusted at his actions. He would not say why the victim had offended him.

”He said he was not homophobic and had been subjected to racial abuse so knew how hurtful his actions had been. He said he had wanted to hurt him like he had been hurt by him.”

She also asked for a restraining order to be imposed to prevent him from contacting Mr Bramall in any way.

Anna Van Wely, defending, said Bradley entered a guilty plea at the first opportunity and had not contacted Mr Bramall since August.

She said: ”He told police from the outset that he had sent unpleasant messages to somebody who had upset him and expressed his remorse and shame.

”All of this happened when he was going through a very difficult time in his life.

”He has never been in any trouble before and is from a good home and a good family. Everybody is trying to help him through this very difficult period.”

She added that Bradley was receiving counselling and had significantly reduced his drinking.

The Labour Party has now suspended Bradley, who finished third in the General Election behind the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats with just ten per cent of the vote.

A spokesman for South West Labour said: ”David Bradley has been suspended from the Labour Party, and as a result cannot attend party meetings, other than his own local branch, or stand for election as a Labour candidate.

”Once the court has reached its verdict, there will be an internal party investigation into the matter.”

But Sam Dick, spokesman for gay rights charity Stonewall, slammed Bradley’s behaviour as ”deeply disturbing”.

He said: ”It’s deeply disturbing that anyone standing for public office holds these views about any part of the community they would be representing.

”Not only do the defendant’s actions raise serious questions about his ability to carry out any public post effectively, he’s also acting as a poor role model for young people who routinely experience and witness anti-gay bullying in our schools.”

Magistrates adjourned Bradley’s sentencing until January 10 and released him on unconditional bail on Thursday.


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