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West Midlands Police/PA Wire
UK News

Man jailed for targeting the Archbishop of York

by Antony Bushfield

Jobless Mark Graham, 46, was found by police after officers examined one letter he sent to Dr John Sentamu and found marks which identified him.

In a statement released after Graham was jailed for four-and-a-half years at Birmingham Crown Court, West Midlands Police said he sent a barrage of racially offensive letters to more than 100 people between 2001 and 2014.

Archbishop John was among a number of victims including a Coventry gym owner who received a letter containing talcum powder, which Graham claimed was anthrax.

The security alert in 2008 led to the partial evacuation of a retail park.

His letter sent to the archbishop in 2013 was said in court to be racially aggravated harassment.

When police searched Graham's home, they found letters ready for posting addressed to sporting personalities, members of parliament and pop singers.

Officers then used fingerprint and DNA testing, together with handwriting experts, to forensically link the letters recovered to Graham.

Detective Sergeant Louise Hanlon said: "Graham had been sending hate mail over years to people from all walks of life. Although the majority of the people he targeted were black, he also sent hate letters to white and Asian people.

"Graham, when interviewed, claimed that he sent the letters as he wanted to write a book and he was exploring character development, but gave no other explanation as to why he sent such hate-filled mail.

As well as his jail sentence, police successfully applied for a 12-year Criminal Behaviour Order against Graham, which bans him from producing or sending any racially offensive correspondence or writing or producing any anonymous correspondence.

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