An ‘anti-vaxxer’ has denied sending malicious emails and messages to a serving Labour MP.
Digby Ritson is alleged to have sent the offensive communications to North Tyneside MP Mary Glindon in 2020 and 2023. A court heard that, during a series of emails and Facebook messages, the 25-year-old is accused of calling Mrs Glindon a ‘Nazi’ and expressing his anti Covid-19 vaccination opinions.
He is then also suspected of sending a police officer offensive communications between March 9 and March 21 this year. Ritson, of Front Street, in Annitsford, appeared before magistrates in North Tyneside last month but the case was adjourned for him to seek legal representation.
Having decided he didn’t want a solicitor, Ritson was back in the dock this week to plead not guilty to three malicious communication offences. He told the court he accepted sending the messages but claimed they were only warning people of the Covid-19 vaccine and were not offensive.
Michael Lawson, prosecuting, said Ritson is first alleged to have sent abusive emails to Mrs Glindon between September 2020 and January 2021 before sending similar Facebook messages between January and February this year. He is then suspected of posting a series of threatening messages to the police officer in March.
The case was set down for trial and Ritson was released on unconditional bail to next appear at Newcastle Magistrates’ Court on June 26. Chairing magistrate, Keith McIntosh, told him: “You have pleaded not guilty to these offences, therefore, there will be a trial.
“That will take place at Newcastle Magistrates’ Court at 2pm. Get there for 1.30pm for a prompt start. If you fail to attend, the case could proceed in your absence.”
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