Leicester East MP Claudia Webbe, 57, has lost her appeal at Southwark Crown Court against her conviction for harassing a love rival. Despite this blow, her sentence has been downgraded from a suspended prison sentence to a 12-month community order, with 80 hours of community service. This means no automatic recall and her statement doesn’t show any intentions of stepping down…
While the judge and two magistrates found out the woman accused of having an affair with Webbe’s boyfriend had lied about the affair, this did not fatally undermine the harassment allegation. The claim that Webbe had threatened her with acid was dismissed. Webbe says:
“I am deeply shocked by today’s outcome.
As I said in court and repeat now, I have never threatened violence nor would I.
As the court heard today, the events of the 25th of April are deeply personal. I was, as reported in the court, facing domestic abuse at the time of the call. I was deeply frustrated that my partner and Michelle Merritt had been socialising in the middle of the covid pandemic, contrary to the rules and all health advice. I was frightened and frustrated by his behaviour. But that fear and frustration could not and should not have been interpreted as harassment. I did not make a threat to throw acid at Michelle, and this was made clear by the judge. As evidenced in court, she had lied to the police and to the court. She wanted to get rid of me from the moment she was aware of me, and far from being fearful or frightened of me was actively planning and plotting my downfall and humiliation.
I would like to thank all those who have supported me through ordeal and continue to do so. These are the people who know me; my character, my values and my behaviour — they know I could not be guilty of this crime.
I would ask that you respect my privacy at this time.
I would also like to thank my lawyers Raj Chada from Hodge Jones & Allen, and Helen Law from Matrix for their continued support.”
It may be anti-climactic, though Guido’s not sorry he’ll now get another two years’ worth of story content from the hapless MP…