Despite press claims, analysis of detail of media reports shows no evidence of ‘string’ of calls, nor of any ‘naked photos’ of ‘love rival’, except in verbal claim by prosecution – but judge says they may mean prison anyway
The whole of the so-called ‘mainstream’ press is parroting headlines that the conviction of Labour MP Claudia Webbe on a single count of harassment, supposedly driven by jealousy of her fiancé’s woman ‘friend’, involved a ‘string’ of phone calls and a threat of an acid attack, what is actually in evidence from the detail reporting appears to be grossly at odds with those headlines – and with the ‘atrocious’ decision of a magistrate to convict her.
The prosecution alleged in court that Ms Webbe had persistently called the other woman – but the only call whose content was in evidence in the trial, according to what has been reported, was made by the accuser to Claudia Webbe:
Only that call appears to have been played in the trial. It did not contain any mention of acid. Instead, the bizarre phrasing ‘you should be acid’ was relayed by the accuser and repeated by the prosecuting barrister, along with claims – again unevidenced – that Webbe had called her a ‘sl*t’ and a ‘sl*g’.
Webbe was reportedly heard in that recording saying that she had seen the other woman’s ‘naked pictures’ and would send them to others if she didn’t back off – but no evidence that any such photos actually existed seems to have been presented to the court.
Other than that, the call appears to have consisted of Claudia Webbe repeating some fifteen times, ‘Get out of my relationship’.
Other reports say that there were records (but no recording) of two 8-second calls from Webbe to the complainant – not from a withheld number and not a ‘string’ – and then the complainant called Webbe back as she was having a row with her fiancé. During the call a neighbour is said to have heard Webbe scream and called the police.
Webbe told the court that she had suffered domestic abuse and gaslighting during her relationship. The prosecution did not dispute her testimony.
Despite the apparent paucity of evidence beyond mere accusation, the magistrate took those accusations to be true and convicted – and even used the unevidenced acid ‘threat’ as justification for saying that he may impose a custodial sentence.
Ms Webbe’s supporters have called the verdict ‘atrocious’ and the decision to prosecute on such flimsy evidence shoddy. She plans to appeal, even though there are risks associated with that option.
Magistrate Paul Goldspring had previously let a neo-nazi convicted of terror-related charges walk free because the young man’s teachers said he might get good A-level grades.
Shamefully, rather than stand by an MP whose suffering of domestic abuse and gaslighting was uncontested, at least until the appeal process is completed, Labour’s right-wing regime immediately took the opportunity to publicly state that she should resign her seat.
Anti-black racists have already begun attacking Ms Webbe on Twitter in the vilest and most threatening terms.
SKWAWKBOX needs your help. The site is provided free of charge but depends on the support of its readers to be viable. If you can afford to without hardship, please click here to arrange a one-off or modest monthly donation via PayPal or here to set up a monthly donation via GoCardless (SKWAWKBOX will contact you to confirm the GoCardless amount). Thanks for your solidarity so SKWAWKBOX can keep bringing you information the Establishment would prefer you not to know about.
If you wish to republish this post for non-commercial use, you are welcome to do so – see here for more.