Analysis Breaking News

Webbe granted appeal against harassment conviction

Black MP abandoned by party and targeted for violence wins right to appeal against magistrate’s verdict

Leicester East MP Claudia Webbe has won the right to appeal against her conviction by a magistrate’s court on a single charge of harassment. The appeal will take place between 9 and 11 March 2022 at Southwark Crown Court.

Ms Webbe has consistently maintained her innocence and her determination to clear her name and asked for the appeal to be heard as quickly as possible, saying that she will continue to serve the people of Leicester East and that this remains her focus and priority. The case has been persistently misrepresented by the UK’s so-called ‘mainstream’ media, which has exaggerated the nature of the conviction.

Webbe has been the subject of vile and racist abuse since the dispute with a woman friend of her fiancé hit the headlines. Last week, a 41-year-old British man was arrested by Irish police and charged in connection with death threats made against her.

Shamefully, despite knowing that she had appealed the verdict and the abuse that would ensue, the Labour party instantly cut her loose, expelling her from the party and beginning plans to try to unseat her in a manner reminiscent of what its eagerness to remove Asian MP Apsana Begum and the disappointment of right-wing staff when Begum was found innocent of the concocted charges against her.

Despite the death threats and her continuing role as an MP, Webbe has been offered no kind of protection.

Her lawyers have asked that Ms Webbe’s privacy is respected and that the legal process is allowed to take its course.

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45 comments

  1. I don’t see why her life should be ruined for imature behaviour and why should she be forced out of parliament and presumably the legal profession of Barrister as well because of what looks like a everyday common messed up relationship with her partner.Shes no spring chicken heading for her sixtys and thats why she needs support and stability thats typically lacking in the Labour party because shes left wing.I really hope she gets a second chance because the sentance outside of what the judge handed out is litterly a life sentence for what?….Imature behaviour and jealousy inside a unstable relationship…Think of the greed and corruption of the other members of the PLP and shes more of a victim than a criminal.

  2. The right of appeal is guaranteed in law. Its hardly ‘won’. How was her conviction exaggerated? She threatened an acid attack on another woman. I’m not sure what perverted sense of morality on this site thinks that is ok. She is known as being a bit of a loose cannon and none too bright judging by some of her earlier statements. Is a conviction for threatening to ‘acid’ another woman the last straw no matter how left wing she is, or does that make it ok?

    1. No Plain Citizen the right of appeal is not guaranteed – there must be grounds for it e.g. an error in law at the lower court. Therefore it seems that Claudia in establishing that there are grounds for appeal is on the way to having the conviction overturned.
      Regarding your other remarks these would carry more weight if you had not previously demonstrated your hatred for socialists and Socialism on this site. It seems clear that irrespective of the outcome of the case you would like them to lock Claudia up and throw away the key because she is a Socialist. Now that amounts to a “perverted sense of morality” in my opinion.

    2. I sincerely hope you never get arrested and convicted on the verbal evidence of one person and the judge in the case treats your accusers statement as fact and you statement as lies.
      “Hearsay evidence may be very convenient to the police and prosecution but its widespread use is not compatible with an adversarial system. Its increased use however is all part of the drift towards a more inquisitorial system in which everything vaguely relevant gets thrown in, the judges think it best to leave it to the jury, and the jury are then asked to sort it out.”
      Ms Webbe’s finding of guilt was very unsound. No matter what you may think of her based on (yet again) hearsay (she is known as a bit of a loose cannon), there is no evidence she did anything beyond making two calls in nearly two years. There is no evidence at all that she made any threats to the victim.
      She will win the appeal but the media has succeeded in destroying her life. I hope that makes you happy

    3. While I’ve no more idea of her guilt or innocence than you have PC, I am at least cognisant of the fact that miscarriages of justice occur all the time.

      At the worst extreme, think Guildford 4, Maguire 7, Birmingham 6. All were wrongfully convicted in in Crown Court (the latter with tragic consequences), and not a Magistrate’s Court where the burden of proof is even less exacting.

      You just come across here as one of the flog ’em and hang ’em brigade who infest the comments in my local rag for anyone convicted of just about anything worse than a minor traffic offence.

    4. Of course he/she/it’s sure!
      They are happier believing the unsubstantiated nonsense in the MSM than exercising the right to think for themselves on the basis of the known facts.
      It’s enough to give even gullible halfwittery a bad name!

    5. No she was NOT found guilty of threatening an acid attack – she was found guilty of “harassment” – unspecified.

      The only real evidence was a recording of the victim ringing HER and this happened
      as she was having a row with her partner.

      The appeal hearing is estimated to last three days – no doubt to correct a
      lot that the “judge in charge” did not understand.

      Remember this was a judge who gave a lenient sentence to a boy because he
      was “University material” in spite of the boy being convicted for very serious crimes.

  3. This is the first step to Claudia clearing her name. I genuinely hope she succeeds. If however she loses the appeal once she has done her community service and the suspended sentence is spent then the slate will be wiped clean as it should be .
    After all Claudia did not murder anybody, defraud them, beat them up or anything similar . She was found guilty of one count of harassment- not nice but hardly a hanging offence. However because of her gender race and socialist politics she has been hounded and abused by the misogynists, racists and right wing freaks both in the party and outside it.
    Also it does not surprise me that Starmer has called for her resignation as an MP. As a BAME Woman and a Socialist who upholds the human rights of Palestinians she has no place in the party. Expelling her was clearly not enough for him . Now he wants to deny her her livelihood too – not much respect for the justice there from a former DPP but then what’s new.
    I’m sure Starmer and Evans couldn’t believe their luck when she was found guilty of the one count of harassment. It will be interesting to see what they do if the conviction is quashed – I suppose they will just revert to conjuring up the usual “antisemitism” charges against her and get rid of her that way.

    1. If however she loses the appeal once she has done her community service and the suspended sentence is spent then the slate will be wiped clean as it should be.

      If she loses then she runs the risk of actually doing the time, or even being given an increased sentence, which I’m sure must have crossed her mind.

      As for the slate being wiped clean, it will depend on that outcome. Community sentence stays for 5 years but I’m not sure about suspended sentences.

      Also quite a number of professions require full disclosure of all convictions, spent or otherwise — a full list is available on Seatons Legal Services website, How it might affect her in pursuing any of those is impossible to say with any certainty. I once had to declare mine from many years ago when I worked voluntarily for the YMCA for a short while — they obviously felt mine weren’t prohibitive.

      1. Reply to PW – Although any conviction is held on record, once the sentence has been served ( in this case community service and a 10(?) week custodial sentence suspended) then that is the end of the matter. That is what I meant by the slate being wiped clean – sorry I wasn’t clear about that.
        Also I agree that there is a possibility the sentence could be increased but given that it seems excessive in the first place I hope that will not happen. However it it is a chance Claudia is willing to take in order to clear her name .

      2. I see what you meant Smartboy. We were thinking at cross purposes there and you’re right, insofar as the sentence is done, the slate is clean.

        While my own convictions were quite minor, quite a few of the lads I grew up with spent time in young offender institutions and prisons. Despite the clean slate some still found doors closed to them for some time afterwards simply because they’d been inside. These weren’t nasty horrible people, just lads who went a bit astray and made some mistakes in their younger lives.

        Anyway, I hope it all works out for her, and if there is any truth in what happened she gets to do her sentence and can move on without all the stigma many like to attach to those who just make a mistake in life. None of us are perfect, just some seem to think that they’re above the rest.

      3. Yes PW there was and is a difficulty for young working class teenagers who commit minor offences getting jobs etc afterwards. It follows them for years However middle/upper class yobs who deface or swing from War Memorials, vandalise property etc and who get a short custodial sentences are feted as experts in the penal system when they get out and write books about their experience of “incarceration”. Sickening.
        Also when you look at furore about Claudia and look at how e.g Jeffrey Archer ( Lord Archer) was treated you can only conclude that her gender race and politics are the reason she is being pilloried .
        Like you I wish her well and hope she gets wins her appeal and is able to move on. Like you say we all make mistakes.

  4. Claudia Webbe denies she threatened violence. Apparently she said to the other woman “you should be acid” but I don’t know if she admits this. If this is the case it wasn’t exactly threatening to throw acid as the media have said. Hopefully an appeal hearing will consider all the facts.

    1. ‘All the facts’. An interesting point that no-one here knows ‘All the facts’, but that does not affect opinion.

  5. I’m astonished at the absolute clamour from some for the punishment of Webbe, way beyond the normal bounds. Sticks and stones and a clear lapse of judgement, come to mind and whilst unsavoury, really do not come into the realms of severe punishment demanded.

    1. Indeed. The fact sentence was passed at Magistrate’s Court rather than being sent to Crown Court suggests as much.

      1. Harassment is a summary, rather than indictable, offence. Hence it being heard at mag’s not crown court.

      2. Thanks for that bit of info Toffee. I’ve not followed the case as such and was assuming the (alleged) threat of acid attack was maybe relevant, which was why I thought it could have been liable to go to Crown for sentence rather than the hearing itself. Hence the suggestion that it wasn’t considered a particularly grave offence.

  6. As with Corbyn, the unseemly clamour to get Webbe out of the PLP, and remove her from the commons altogether, presumably to be replaced with a Starmer clone, likely has more to do with numbers and Starmer’s fears of a SCG mounted leadership challenge.

    Nobody in the SCG is safe from these usurpers; they care little for democracy if they can’t rig things; they hate the members and want the PLP to become more like an exclusive gated community for Blairite right-wingers only, with the MSM silent, as the left are locked out of their own party.

  7. Under the Harassment Act 1997 I thought it was prosecutable only after ‘a course of conduct’ on at least two occasions, Webbe is convicted with just one. Not saying she could not be convicted of another offence like threatening behaviour etc, but she hasn’t. Here is section 7 Interpretation Harassment Act 1997.
    Section 7 Interpretation of this group of sections.
    (1)This section applies for the interpretation of sections [F1sections 1 to 5A].
    (2)References to harassing a person include alarming the person or causing the person distress.
    [F2(3)A “course of conduct” must involve—
    (a)in the case of conduct in relation to a single person (see section 1(1)), conduct on at least two occasions in relation to that person, or
    (b)in the case of conduct in relation to two or more persons (see section 1(1A)), conduct on at least one occasion in relation to each of those persons.]

    1. She had traceable phone contact with the victim on two occasions, one of them was initiated and recorded by the victim over a period of nearly two years. The victim claimed Ms Webbe made further calls but there is no hard evidence. The victim claimed Ms Webbe swore at her during phone calls but the recorded call contained no swearing.

    2. Harry – and this is what the CPS said in their post-verdict statement.

      Claudia Webbe MP guilty of harassment
      MP Claudia Webbe has been convicted of harassment after the Crown Prosecution Service showed she made a number of obsessive nuisance calls to a woman over an 18-month period.
      Webbe, 56, was found guilty of harassment today (13 October) after Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard evidence she made numerous short, silent telephone calls from a withheld number, before hanging up.
      In March 2019 Webbe spoke to her victim, threatened to use acid against her, and threatened that naked photographs and videos of the victim would be shared. There is no suggestion the images were real.
      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.
      Specialist Prosecutor Lisa Rose of the CPS Special Crime Division, said: “Claudia Webbe’s persistent nuisance behaviour caused considerable distress and alarm to her victim who became genuinely concerned for her safety.
      “Webbe told police she did not appreciate the calls were unwanted or causing distress. However the prosecution case was that the police had issued her with a clear warning about her conduct.

      “No-one should have to endure this sort of harassment. We are determined to bring perpetrators to justice and help protect victims.”
      https://www.cps.gov.uk/cps/news/claudia-webbe-mp-guilty-harassment

      1. Yes thank you. You’ve posted the CPS press release three times now. It hasn’t changed in any of them.
        To be clear. Webbe didn’t make “15 further calls”, the defendant received 15 calls from a witheld number which may have been from Ms Webbe.

      2. lundiel – Have I, how many times have you repeated the above drivel?
        There is obviously still a need to keep reminding people like yourself what the court determined. I’ve seen nothing where she categorically denies making these call, have you? I can also repeat what the most senior magistrate in England & Wales said about the veracity of Webbe’s testimony if you like.
        Why did she continue to harass her victim after being warned off by the police. What was she thinking?
        Ask yourself could you envisage ever being in the situation where the police have to come and warn you off harnessing someone and then ignored that advice.
        If she had accepted the police’s advice it would have ended there and she wouldn’t be in this mess.

      3. Here’s transcript of the case:
        She then started calling me a slag and saying friends don’t send pictures of their tits and pussy to other friends, and it culminated in; ‘You’re a slag and you should be acid’.

        “She confirmed she knew where I lived and would send pictures and videos to my daughters.”

        Executive assistant Ms Merritt wept as she described how she was left “very shocked and very fearful” and called police, saying: “I have been threatened by a public figure with acid over the phone.”

        The court heard Ms Webbe continued to make further calls to the complainant despite apparently being warned by an officer and Ms Merritt recorded one after ringing her back on April 25 last year.

        In the call, played in court, Ms Webbe is heard repeatedly telling Ms Merritt to “get out of my relationship”.

        She also says: “I have seen all of your naked pictures,” adding: “I will show them all of your pictures.”

        She denies a single count of harassment and giving evidence said: “I have never attempted to threaten Michelle Merritt. I have never sought to cause her any anxiety or concern with an actual threat.”

        Ms Webbe, who at the time was living with Mr Thomas, a consultant at Crossrail, football coach, and scout for Chelsea, denied ever deliberately making silent phone calls from a withheld number.

        She said she was aware Ms Merritt was friends with her partner but “didn’t have any concerns” about their relationship, adding: “I was not jealous.”

        “I have actually never had any concerns about any other person in Lester’s life because Lester is a very open person and having displayed his affections for me on every social media in a public way,” Ms Webbe said.

        She denied making threats in the Mother’s Day phone call, telling the court: “I didn’t do any of that.

        “I have never sworn in my life, I don’t use expletives, I would never treat women like that.

        “I spent my lifetime campaigning for the rights of women, for challenging this type of behaviour and this is not something that is in my character and not something I would ever do.

        “These terms and these words are not my words. I would never, ever use such expletives, such derogatory terms about another person, let alone another woman.”

        Ms Webbe said she had received a phone call from police following Ms Merritt’s complaint but said it was unclear, not significant, and that she had not been “warned off any further contact”.

        She claimed the recorded phone call has been taken out of context, having occurred while she was arguing with Mr Thomas about breaching the Covid-19 lockdown with Ms Merritt.

        “My anger on that particular day was directed towards Lester,” she said.

        “It’s not my finest moment. I listened to the tape earlier. I’m embarrassed by it.”
        It is from the Islington Gazette.
        What’s clear is Ms Webbe Denys making the majority of alleged calls. Denys making threats. Denys using the words attributed to her by the victim. Attached no significance to the call from the police. The whole case is based on the judge’s belief that on merit the victim was telling the truth. The judge didn’t make a legal choice in his finding of guilt, it was a judgement of character based on less than an hour of knowing either woman. Someone else might think differently. In fact they already decided she had grounds for appeal.

      4. It is the first time I have seen that. Do you have a link to the source?
        I find it difficult to believe that she failed to attach any significance to the call from the police. I certainly would, wouldn’t you? She’s a barrister for goodness sake.
        The trial lasted 2 to 3 days not an hour.
        The judge made it very clear that he found Claudia’s testimony unreliable.
        This is what he said.
        “I do not find the defendant to be cogent, compelling and truthful in all aspects of her evidence,” he said.
        “Some of the things she said I believe were made up on the spur of the moment.”
        “In short, I find Ms Webbe to be vague, incoherent and at times illogical and ultimately I find her to be untruthful.”
        “Threatening to throw acid at somebody and to send intimate photographs to family members crosses the custody threshold,”
        https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/breaking-suspended-labour-mp-claudia-25207990

      5. “I find it difficult to believe that she failed to attach any significance to the call from the police. I certainly would, wouldn’t you? ”
        No. Not if I hadn’t been stalking her. The thing is, I don’t know if she’s guilty or not but I’m unwilling to accept the other woman’s testimony might not be exaggerated.

        https://www.islingtongazette.co.uk/news/crime/mp-claudia-webbe-denies-harassment-charge-in-court-8370554

        There was never “a threat to throw acid”. The judge has shown himself to be projecting. The alleged words don’t have an explicit meaning and there is no proof she ever said them.
        She will be successful in her appeal.

      6. lundiel – Thanks for the link.
        Given the obvious status of the accused I find it very difficult to believe that the very experienced judge would not have very carefully weighed and considered both his remarks and verdict, particularly as it was fairly obvious that there was the likelihood of an appeal. However you are right that without having listened to all the evidence neither of us in a position to reach an informed verdict. I suppose we’ll just have to wait until next year to see if anything, new emerges and whether the verdict is overturned or confirmed.

      7. You sound like Webbes acusser a vindictive scheeming Barsteward .who entrapped not just Webbe but her dopey boyfriend as well..Theres only one victim here and its clearly a distraught late middle aged women Claudia webbe whos guilty of being foolish and that shouldn’t be a life destroying sentence.She would be well advised to dump the Romeo and avoid the nasty Juliet and have a fresh start which was probably the life of a well known active MP before our legal victim attempted to drag her life into the mud.Your comments throughout mr Steve H Hall centrist Dad show a uncaring nasty peice of work much like our pretend victim in this minor domestic disturbance which is all its ever been and hopfuly all it will ever be..especially for miz webbe.whos the only real victim and a foolish one. “Love is blind” especially for Webbe. MP.

      8. Joseph – I think that most reasonable people would have found that a call from the police was a wake up call.

  8. Used to enjoy reading summaries of old cases, so when I read the strap line ‘man who killed wife wins claim for Bereavement Allownce’
    I thought WTF
    But then you read the facts of the case and it became clear the decision was reasonable, he was besotted by his wife, after years of horrific abuse he momentarily snapped and killed her
    He then just as quickly became bereft at the loss of the women he loved, his grieving was palpable and the award was made based on the criteria set out in the guidance
    Never judge a book by its cover

  9. Off topic but I’ve just seen a far bigger scandal than this.

    Apparently, grayling is being paid £100k by Hong Kong ports for 7 hours ‘work’ per week.

    The beyond monumentally useless cretin probably thinks Hong Kong is King Kong’s brother; and as for anything to do with shipping…

    Fuck my life. Where’s mine? I can be far more use for a lot less money than the vast majority of those imbeciles in parliament.

  10. Qualifications to be a magistrate; must not have been banned from driving in the last 5-10 years, must not have been made bankrupt and mustn’t be deaf. What could possibly go wrong?

  11. Off message but shows the hypocrisy of these cheating mps who are real criminals and using the Caribbean as a bolt hole for allsorts of dodgy deals,funding and defrauding the people of Britain.Another knight of the realm is openly flaunting the payments of moneys by taxpayers on his London property’s.whilst dossing down in his Caribbean bolt hole taking the public for a ride.Sir Geoffrey Cox is no longer the exception and the Caribbean is now being used for tax evasions Job frauds and pension funds scams.and money laundering.IT makes miz webbes domestics look like a storm in a teacup compared to the scum sunning themselves on the back of the taxpayers,the vunrrable,disabled,welfare recipients,and of course the elderly.who have been dumped….Claudia Webb’s fight for all of the left behind shows whos side she’s fighting for despite being trashed by the media and thrown under the bus by the Labour party.

    1. Yes. I’m concerned about Belize. It seems to be jointly run by the army (our army), lord Ashcroft and his family. Even his estranged daughter in law looks like getting away with shooting the police chief in the head.

  12. When you own the Bank of Belize and the politicians then its safe to say you are the owner of a Fiefdom and not dissimilar to the land of your birth United kingdom Bolton Lancashire.Ashcroft owns great chunks of the City operators Corperate services group,Blue Arrow(remember tiny Rowlands)Carlisle Holdings,Medax and many other companys including massive holdings in Texas and healthcare companys across the USA.The Tory party owe everything including millions to the Ashcroft Family who have funded them since the eightys..He rules by fear and money and is according to former members of the Carlton club in St James “A man you don’t want as a enemy” .

  13. SteveH – you say:

    ” … I find it very difficult to believe that the very experienced judge would not have very carefully weighed and considered both his remarks and verdict, …”

    which is more or less EXACTLY what the Appeal case Judge(s) for the Birmingham 6
    said in turning it down ..

    AS for the “experience” of the judge – see

    https://skwawkbox.org/2021/10/13/magistrate-who-convicted-webbe-released-neo-nazi-because-hed-get-good-a-levels/

    where there is an account of him meeting off a Neo nazi because of
    possibly good Levels!

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