Troll punished: Man who threatened Louise Mensch found guilty

Louise Mensch has a strong presence online
Louise Mensch has a strong presence online
Ian Dunt By

A man who threatened to harm the children of Tory MP Louise Mensch has been found guilty of sending a message of "menacing character".

Frank Zimmerman used his computer to threaten and abuse the Corby MP, who has a strong presence on Twitter.

"You have been hacked," one message read.

"We are inside your computer all your phones, everywhere and inside your homes! So get off Twitter.

"You now have a Sophie's choice. Which kid is to go? Who will you choose?"

The comment refers to the film Sophie's Choice where a character played by Meryl Streep must choose which of her two children will be sent to the gas chamber during World War Two.

The MP told the court she received the messages while in New York.

"I was more than 3,000 miles away from my children and I had no idea how to protect them. I felt powerless," she said.

"I became extremely scared and called the House of Commons.

"The police made immediate arrangements to ensure my family's safety."

She then tweeted: "Had some morons threaten my children by email. To those who sent it; get stuffed losers."

Gaon Hart, of the Crown Prosecution Service, said: "The right to freedom of speech is accompanied by laws that protect individuals from those who seek to abuse that freedom and use the anonymity of email or Twitter accounts to hide from the fear that they cause.

"This should be a salutary lesson for anyone who considers that they are above the law because they threaten others through a computer rather than on the streets."

Police tracked the IP address of the message back to Zimmerman, who has failed to turn up to court three times.

District Judge Martin Brown said he would sentence Zimmerman in person next month and that a failure to attend would result in arrest.


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