MP Louise Mensch Twitter threats case is adjourned

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An agoraphobic man charged with making threats via Twitter and e-mail to East Northamptonshire MP Louise Mensch has failed to appear in court for a second time.

Frank Zimmerman is accused of making “indecent, obscene or menacing” threats against the Conservative MP and her children.

The 60-year-old, from Barnwood, Gloucester, was due to appear at Gloucester Magistrates Court after he failed to turn up to a hearing on December 12.

The court heard Zimmerman suffers from agoraphobia and depression and is likely to be a “wreck” if brought to court.

District Judge Martin Brown adjourned the hearing for three weeks to enable defence barrister Charles Cronin to obtain a clarification from the author of a psychiatric report.

Judge Brown said: “Having read the report of Dr Alcock it is my opinion that it would be wrong and unjust at this stage to either insist on the defendant attending or issue a warrant for his immediate arrest.

“He suffers from agoraphobia and depression and, whilst an intelligent man, he would suffer detrimentally if he were brought into a courtroom where he is likely to experience extreme anxiety or panic attacks.

“But in my opinion that diagnosis and condition should not hinder him from providing full instruction including his plea.”

Zimmerman faces a charge of improper use of a public network.

The case will be listed at Cheltenham Magistrates Court on February 6.