British MP of Nigerian descent wrote to a judge to spare his son of jail
The former shadow cabinet minister used House of Commons headed notepaper to ask for a reprieve for 29-year-old Ishmael Osamor, after he was caught with a £2,500 stash of drugs at Bestival.
She had tried to keep the letter secret on privacy grounds, after previously claiming she had not even known about her son’s legal troubles until after his sentencing.
But Judge Stephen Climie said today the two-page letter should be made public following a challenge by the Evening Standard and other media organisations.
In the letter to the judge, Ms Osamor said she was “shaken” by her son’s drugs conviction, and urged him to spare her son prison to avoid “tearing my family apart”.
“I regret the fact that this letter is necessary. I am shaken by how difficult this letter is for me to write”, she said.
“What keeps me believing in him and loving him is the fact that he is a good person that came from a good home.
“I wish more than anything that you, the man who decides his fate, could know him like I do.”
Her son, who worked in her Parliamentary office and was a councillor in Haringey, had been caught with cocaine, ecstasy, ketamine, and cannabis at last year’s Bestival in Dorset.
Ms Osamor was forced to resign from her role as shadow international development secretary after she claimed to not know the details of her son’s court case until after sentencing.
However this could not have been true when it emerged that she had written one of five reference letters for her son, and Judge Climie said they played a “significant” part in his decision to impose a community service order instead of prison.
In her letter, dated 11 days before the sentencing hearing last October at Bournemouth crown court, Ms Osamor called her son a “vital pillar in our local community” and an “integral part of my team”.
“I understand the charge against him needs to be taken seriously, but the thought of you taking my son into custody feels like a bereavement, he is such a positive force in my life and I can’t recognise life without him”, she said.
“I hope there are options available to help Ishmael atone for his mistake without tearing my family apart.”
She added: “This case has rocked my son, I have never witnessed such a shift in his behaviour, at times it has deflated his self-esteem and purpose.
“After speaking with Ishmael I am without ambiguity that he is incredibly remorseful and willing to make reparations.
“But to do this he needs you to give him an opportunity to have a second chance.
“I implore you to recognise the power that you yield with regard to the future of my beautiful son and make a fair decision.”
The court heard Osamor had been holding the stash of drugs for his group of friends when he was stopped by festival security.
He was sentenced to 200 hours of community service after admitting possession with intent to supply the drugs.
In his letter to the court, also released today, Osamor said he has “truly learnt my lesson” as he vowed to become an anti-drugs campaigner.
He resigned from his cabinet post on Haringey Council and then quit his seat entirely in the wake of publicity of his criminal case.