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Leicester East MP Claudia Webbe Handed 10 Week Suspended Jail Sentence For Harassment

Leicester East MP Claudia Webbe Handed 10 Week Suspended Jail Sentence For Harassment
2 min read

Leicester East MP Claudia Webbe has been handed a suspended 10-week jail sentence and 200 hours of community service.

The MP, who was elected as a Labour member, has now been expelled from the party. 

Last month Webbe was found guilty of harassment at Westminster Magistrates Court.

She has vowed to appeal the conviction.

The 56-year-old was accused of making a series of phone calls harassing Michelle Merritt, a female friend of her partner Lester Thomas, between September 1 2018 and April 26 2020.

The court heard that Webbe called the victim in March 2019 and threatened to release intimate photos of her, use acid against her, and called her a "slag".

Speaking from Westminster Magistrates Court today, the victim said: "My self confidence has plummeted, I have anxiety attacks, I have almost become a hermit.

"I have fallen into huge debt, I desperately wanted to move away from the area Ms Webbe said she knew I lived in."

Evidence showed that the MP made numerous short, silent telephone calls from a withheld number, before hanging up.

Despite being asked to stop by police she continued, making at least 15 further calls after April 2019.

A final threatening call in April 2020 was recorded by the victim when Webbe again made the threat to release naked images, prompting police to interview her.

She has previously denied all claims of harassment.

In a statement following her sentencing, Webbe said: "I am very disappointed by the decision of the magistrate and want to strongly reiterate that I am innocent.

"I am lodging an appeal and despite today's sentence I fully expect the appeal to be granted and that, ultimately, it will be successful."

Chief Magistrate Paul Goldspring, who conducted today's sentencing, said: "The level of harassment and the threats you made cannot be excused."

Webbe entered the Commons in December 2019 with a majority of 6,019, winning the Leicester East seat formerly held by Labour veteran Keith Vaz.

If the MP's appeal is rejected at the High Court a recall petition will be initiated, leaving Webbe at serious risk of losing her seat. 

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