A former soldier who threatened to shoot a politician and left him a volley of abusive voicemails has been sentenced to be detained in hospital.

Michael Glendinning appeared at Preston Crown Court on Thursday for a deferred sentence hearing, charged with harassment against Rossendale and Darwen MP Jake Berry, spanning 10 months from March 2020 to January 2021.

Glendinning, 56, had admitted leaving a series of voicemails for Darwen and Rossendale MP Jake Berry, threatening to shoot the MP by placing a shot gun between his buttocks, ‘batter him’, ‘never take his foot off his neck’, ‘have sex with him’, and called him numerous vile and expletive names.

Prosecutor Cecilia Pritchard said the defendant had first made contact with Mr Berry in 2012 requesting some help with a case involving HMRC.

Mr Berry assisted the defendant and as far as he was concerned the matter was resolved in 2012.

Ms Pritchard said: “The defendant did not seem to be satisfied with the outcome and tried to contact Mr Berry on a number of occasions, including in 2018 while Mr Berry was with his young family in a Costa Coffee shop, and then again in 2019 while Mr Berry was in a supermarket.

“This then escalated from 2019 and into 2020 to a worrying level.”

Ms Pritchard detailed how Glendinning of Edgemoor Close, Shawforth, had left violent and abusive voicemails, and sent emails to the politician, making false allegations that the MP was a paedophile.

She told the court that between March 2020 and May 2020 the office of Mr Berry received 234 voicemails from the defendant, and then 63 between two dates in August.

Ms Pritchard read a number of the voicemails out in court, explaining how the defendant had called the MP a ‘snake’ a ‘scumbag’ a ‘bald headed pr***’ and had said ‘you know how it is, I am not going to take my foot off your neck, just like you’ve had yours on mine’.

Glendinning also threatened to have sex with Mr Berry, and told him he would ‘batter him’.

Ms Pritchard added: “He sent a voicemail saying ‘You are disgusting. I will rip your ears off and s*** down your neck. Leave my family alone and stop taking the p*** out of my family, and the NHS. I will batter you. Who the f*** do you think you are taking the p*** out of my sister. Get out of town.’ “In August 2020 the defendant threatened to get a shot gun and shoot the MP. Then in January 2021 he threatened to put a gun up his bottom and shoot him.

“The threats in January prompted the MP to get in touch with the police again and he was interviewed and charged with harassment.”

Mr Berry told police he believed the defendant was an ‘unstable and unpredictable individual and I was concerned he was going to come to the office and stab me’.

Ms Pritchard continued: “After the killing of MP Jo Cox, MPs have been more concerned about their safety, but since then we have also had the sad death of Essex MP David Amess.

“As an elected person he should be free to go about his duties without threats or intimidation.”

Defending Glendinning, Bob Elias said his client felt there was a conspiracy against him and felt that he was the victim, stating it was clear Glendinning needed help and not punishment.

Sentencing Glendinning to a hospital order, Judge Altham said: “The defendant’s obsession with Mr Berry appears to have moved on.

“The voicemails contained horribly insulting language, they make utterly unfounded allegations and are threatening in tone.

“At one point he invites the MP to have a fight with him and makes reference to his time in the armed forces.

“He is a 56-year-old-man with no relevant convictions.

“This was not just persistent but extremely so.

“I must take into account the guidelines on sentencing people with mental health problems.

“The offending is mitigated by the defendant’s relevant convictions and his mental health problems.

“A pre-sentence report states the defendant suffers from a major psychotic delusion disorder.

“I am satisfied he is suffering from this and that makes it appropriate for him to be detained in a hospital where medical treatment will be available to him.

“I therefore make a hospital order under section 37 of the mental health act, and there will be a restraining order for 10 years.

“I hope the treatment produces some benefit.”