A man who sent a threatening and highly offensive email to the Conservative MP Louise Mensch after putting on a long white beard and dying his hair green has been warned he will be jailed if he gets back in touch with her while dressing up like a troll or any other mythical monster.
Frank Zimmerman was given a 26-week jail sentence, suspended for two years, after telling Mensch in a threatening email that he lived under a bridge and had hairy toes.
Zimmerman, 60, from Gloucester, was made the subject of a restraining order forbidding him from wearing brightly coloured wigs, false facial hair or pointy spock ears while sending emails to MPs.
The district judge Martin Brown told Zimmerman that he had committed a very serious crime by contacting an MP while pretending to be a troll and he said the long white beard in particular “went beyond mere mischief”. The judge added:
These were ugly, unpleasant and serious costumes you were wearing while sending a message to the complainant by email. The sticky-up back-combed hair understandably caused her great concern.
The judge also said he had decided against granting a request from the prosecution banning Zimmerman from sporting a hairstyle like Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London while using a computer:
It had been my intention to prohibit him from using a computer with any ridiculous hairstyle but I accept the human rights angle and I accept the problems of policing that.
Zimmerman was charged with an offence of sending by public communication network a message while dressed up in an offensive, indecent, obscene or menacing manner. Although Mr Zimmerman maintained his innocence, the case against him was proven in his absence after he failed to attend court, blaming some elves for sending the offensive emails instead.
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