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Convict who threatened to blow up hospital admits journalist rape threat

Amy FentonA convict who once vowed to blow up a hospital has pleaded guilty to making a rape threat against a regional daily journalist.

HTFP reported last week how Cumbria Police had launched an investigation into allegations of online abuse aimed at Amy Fenton, chief reporter of South Cumbria daily The Mail.

Leroy McCarthy admitted a malicious communication offence at Manchester Magistrates’ Court yesterday, having been arrested on Tuesday by Greater Manchester Police.

The 25-year-old has been bailed to appear at the same court on 26 February, when he will be sentenced.

Amy had covered a previous case involving McCarthy, who was jailed in 2017 after threatening to blow up Furness General Hospital.

Amy, pictured, told HTFP: “I’m pleased and relieved to hear police have arrested someone in connection with the vile threat made towards me.

“I’d like to thank my boss, Vanessa Sims, for her support and also the police for taking this so seriously.

“Barrow and Furness MP Simon Fell has also been supporting me and raising the wider issue with the government and I have offered to use my own experience to help those in authority in dealing with what is becoming a growing issue.

“This arrest should send out the message that reporters are not ‘fair game’ and we won’t tolerate being subjected to criminal and violent threats simply for doing our job.

“I hope it also encourages other journalists to report similar incidents to police in the knowledge that action is taken when a crime has been committed.”