A racist loner who sent abusive letters to people including Stephen Lawrence's mother during a 13-year campaign of hate has been jailed for four-and-a-half years. Mark Graham, from Coventry, targeted 10 individuals with abusive and threatening notes and sent one person talcum powder, claiming it was anthrax.
In total police recovered 400 letters sent to over 100 people by the 46-year-old, who abused mainly "successful and high achieving black people", Birmingham Crown Court heard. The letters began in 2001 but it was 2013 before an offensive letter sent to the Archbishop of York was tracked back to Graham by police.
He sent hate mail to Baroness Lawrence, formerly Doreen Lawrence, whose son Stephen was fatally stabbed in a racist attack in 1993, for a month in 2014. Baroness Scotland, the first black woman to be appointed a Queen's Counsel, was also targeted.
Graham was found guilty of eight charges of racially-aggravated harassment after he admitted a further similar charge and another of attempted racially-aggravated harassment.
Judge Mary Stacey said Graham had attempted to "humiliate and denigrate successful and high-achieving black people" so he could "enjoy a form of power and control" reports the Coventry Telegraph.
"They were left fearing you would confront them and that you were watching them," she said. "They never knew when they would receive the next letter and were left in trepidation."
"It has absolutely no place whatsoever in our democratic society."
Graham's victims included a local shop owner who was left fearing for his family's safety, a food company boss who received 23 letters in one month, and a white gym owner whom Graham disliked.
Another victim, a white IT engineer, was mistakenly targeted after the offender assumed he was a black immigrant from Somalia.
Defending Graham, Neil Fitzgibbons said his client could be described as a "loner" who lived an isolated life.
When he was arrested Graham told West Midlands Police that the reason he had sent the letters was because he wanted to write a book and was exploring character development.
Officers discovered stacks of letters ready for posting at his home and even photocopies of original letters he had sent.
Along with his jail sentence Graham was also given a 12-year criminal behaviour order banning him from producing or sending any racially offensive correspondence, sending any anonymous correspondence or contacting anyone named in the trial.