Thursday 19 May 2022 05:13 PM Ex-Labour MP Claudia Webbe rang love rival 17 times after police told her to ... trends now
Former Labour MP Claudia Webbe has launched an appeal against her harassment conviction after a district judge previously found her guilty of bombarding a love with 17 phone calls, despite police telling her to stop.
Webbe, 57, allegedly called Michelle Merritt a ‘slag’, threatened to throw acid at her and said she would post naked photos of her to her family.
The now-independent MP for Leicester East was convicted of harassment at Westminster Magistrates’ Court last November and sentenced to 10 weeks jail, suspended for two years with 200 hours unpaid work.
She was also ordered to pay £1,000 to Ms Merritt, 59, in compensation after District Judge Paul Goldspring said she ‘intended to cause real alarm and distress to her’.
Webbe is said to have waged the campaign of harassment after becoming suspicious of Ms Merritt’s relationship with her partner, Lester Thomas, a Chelsea FC scout.
He had dated Ms Merritt some 15 years ago.
MP Claudia Webbe arrives at Southwark Crown Court, south London, where she is appealing against her conviction on one count of harassment
Webbe launched her appeal against conviction at Southwark Crown Court today in front of Judge Deborah Taylor, sitting with magistrates.
Prosecutor Susannah Stevens went through a timeline of harassment, in which Ms Merritt telephone calls from withheld numbers that were silent before being cut off.
They tended to occur when Ms Merrit and Mr Thomas were together, the court heard.
In October 2018, Ms Merritt received a call from a number she could see and, after googling it, found that it belonged to Webbe, Ms Stevens said.
Ms Stevens said the harassment ‘escalated’ on Mother’s Day, March 31, 2019, when Webbe 'identified herself' over the phone and 'queried why Michelle Merritt was in touch with Lester Thomas'.
‘We suggest that this appeared to be her obsession - the fact that Ms Merritt should not be seeing or having contact with Lester Thomas.
‘Indeed the respondent submits that Claudia Webbe was in such a state on Mother’s Day that not only did she query the nature of Michelle Merritt’s contact with Lester Thomas she then went on to say that Michelle Merritt was a slag and so should be acid.
‘Claudia Webbe further threatened Ms Merritt that naked photographs and videos that she had come across of Ms Merritt would be sent to her children.’
Ms Merritt phoned police after the call.
Ms Stevens said