An Army veteran who suffers with a "delusional disorder" has been told he will not go to jail after he was found with a lock knife while being investigated for making threats online towards a prominent barrister and women's rights campaigner.

David Mottershead, aged 43, from Derwenlas, near Machynlleth was found not guilty by a jury late last year of sending harassing tweets to Dr Charlotte Proudman which put her in fear of violence in November 2022.

He was however found guilty of carrying a bladed article at Aberystwyth Police Station on January 8, 2023, while under investigation about making a number of Twitter posts that the court heard were "threatening and violent in nature" which appeared to relate to Dr Proudman.

At Mold Crown Court on Wednesday, January 3, His Honour Judge Rhys Rowlands sentenced Mottershead to 20 weeks in prison which will be suspended for 18 months. A five-year restraining order not to approach or contact Dr Proudman was imposed by the judge who felt the court must protect her from further threats.

"Whatever your intention was, inflammatory and plainly threatening nature of posts cannot be justified and understandably she felt threatened, and no one should put up with that," the judge said.


The court heard that there was a "vicious circle" addressing Mottershead's mental health issues because he had a "difficult" relationship with medical professionals.

His barrister Mr Edwards said: "He feels he is not being listened to. His diagnosis changes frequently and feels being placed on various medication to cover up the issues."

After being told a number of times to be quiet, Mottershead said: "I want to get better for my children more than anyone in this room. The whole point with mental health therapy is that it’s not forced."

Judge Rowlands said: "You can’t simply have carte blanche to put things on internet and cause other people real fear.

"Why does he think he’s allowed to say what he likes?

"The more I hear from him the more I’m concerned about his future behaviour."

County Times:

The court heard Mottershead's concerns over an aspect of the restraining order. Mr Edwards said: "The defendant feels unable to challenge her work.

"Dr Proudman was conducting a number of interviews where reference was made to the trial and her giving evidence. Mr Mottershead has been contacted by people asking if he is an incel or found guilty.

"His concern is whether he can respond to other people."

Addressing Mottershead, Judge Rowlands told him that he was spending too much time on his keyboard sharing views that were inflammatory.

"Your culpability has lessened by your mental health difficulties,” he said.

“You seem to spend much of your time online perusing interests that are pretty all consuming with rights of the male gender and quite fixated too. You are entitled, of course, to hold those views.

“In my judgement it is clear to anyone that it is far from beneficial to your mental health in the way you are exploring them. Social media can be a toxic environment and you are ill equipped and ill-suited to deal with that environment."