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British Aristocrat Convicted, Faces Jail for Anti-Brexit Campaigner Facebook Threats

by Rachel Elbaum /  / Updated  / Source: NBC News
Image: Rhodri Philipps, the 4th Viscount St Davids arrives at Westminster Magistrates Court
Rhodri Philipps, the 4th Viscount St Davids, faces jail time for making threatening statements against anti-Brexit campaigner Gina Miller.Tolga Akmen / Rex Features via AP Images

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A British aristocrat who offered a reward on Facebook for the “accidental” death of a high-profile anti-Brexit campaigner has been convicted of sending threatening messages.

Rhodri Philipps, who holds the title the Viscount of St Davids, and is a member of the House of Lords, described activist Gina Miller as a “troublesome” first-generation “immigrant boat jumper."

Image: Anti-Brexit campaigner Gina Miller arrives at Westminster Magistrates Court Rhodri Philipps trial
Anti-Brexit campaigner Gina Miller arrives in court on July 10, for the trial against Rhodri Philipps, who posted Facebook messages offering a bounty on her head.Tolga Akmen / Rex Features via AP Images

He wrote on Facebook last year: "£5,000 for the first person to 'accidentally' run over this bloody troublesome first generation immigrant."

The post has since been taken down.

The 50-year-old businessman was convicted Tuesday of two counts of sending a menacing public communication, one relating to Gina Miller, who was made aware of the posts, and one about an immigrant on benefits who had featured in a news article, according to the Crown Prosecution Service.

Philipps will be sentenced on Thursday.

“I had no doubt that the first post was menacing... You were offering money to have her killed,” Judge Emma Arbuthnot said, according to local media reports.

Image: Rhodri Philipps, the 4th Viscount St Davids arrives at Westminster Magistrates Court
Rhodri Philipps, the 4th Viscount St Davids, faces jail time for making threatening statements against anti-Brexit campaigner Gina Miller.Tolga Akmen / Rex Features via AP Images

Miller is a prominent anti-Brexit voice in the U.K., who took the government to court over how it was allowed to trigger Britain's exit from the European Union. She won the case and the government was forced to seek Parliament’s approval to start the withdrawal process.

In this year’s election campaign she launched a crowdfunding effort to back anti-Brexit candidates, raising hundreds of thousands of pounds. She has faced death threats and abuse on social media for her positions.

She did not immediately provide NBC News with comment.

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