Man gets 10 months for vile phone rants

By Robyn Rosen, May 12, 2011

A man who bombarded the Jewish Chronicle with hundreds of "vile, abusive and antisemitic" phone calls, has been jailed for 10 months.

William James Hannaford, 57, of Euston, who called JC staff "f---ing parasites" and "mosquitoes", was also given a restraining order after repeatedly calling the paper's central London offices.

Hannaford, who had long grey hair and a beard, had to be led from the courtroom after he shouted at the judge: "You call this British justice!" following his sentencing on Monday at the Old Bailey.

Hannaford's calls took place between March 22 and April 10 last year and were recorded and sent to the police.

Neil Moore, prosecuting, said: "Various employees at the Jewish Chronicle received many calls from the defendant which were extremely abusive and involved a number of antisemitic remarks." On one occasion, Hannaford called four times in 13 minutes, shouting for up to seven minutes.

Defending, Christopher Rodwell said: "When socially isolated and susceptible to psychotic delusions, Mr Hannaford is extremely influenced by what he reads and what people tell him. In addition, he drinks too much."

Jailing him, Judge Timothy Pontius told Hannaford: "Not all of the calls were made when you were affected by alcohol. I have read through the transcripts of all the calls and they are not unintelligible rantings. The words are clear. The terms of abuse are vile in the extreme".

Last updated: 3:39pm, May 12 2011