Community order for man who harassed Commons Clerk

20/02/2013

A 61 year-old man has today been given an 18 month supervision order at Birmingham Crown Court for harassing a Commons Clerk.

Desmond Darcy had pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to putting a person in fear of violence by harassment.

The defendant was originally charged with five offences of threats to kill, however, upon reviewing the case, it was decided the most appropriate charges were those of harassment with fear of violence directed towards Mr Michael Hennessey, Commons Clerk to the Joint Committee on Human Rights for the House of Commons and the Right Honourable, Andrew Mitchell MP.

In 2004, the defendant made a complaint with regards to his bank and he pursued them for negligence and breach of contract through the Civil Courts.

Zafar Siddique, Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor for West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service, said:

"Mr Darcy sought assistance from his local MP, Mr Andrew Mitchell, with regards to an on ongoing complaint which he had lodged with the Financial Ombudsman. After discussing this matter with Mr Darcy, Mr Mitchell, who had assisted him as much has he could, had eventually concluded that he could not assist him any further and that the Financial Ombudsman had dealt with his original complaint.

"Darcy took exception to this and proceeded in making a series of offensive telephone calls to Mr Mitchell's constituency office. He then made further abusive telephone calls and sent a threatening letter to Mr Michael Hennessey, Commons Clerk to the Joint Committee on Human Rights for the House of Commons.

"This was reported to the police who carried out an investigation and Mr Darcy was arrested and questioned about his behaviour.  

"Mr Mitchell provided the Crown with a statement clarifying that he did not wish to pursue this matter as he did not feel that he was put in fear of any violence, therefore, the Prosecution offered no evidence in relation to Mr Mitchell's case, but proceeded with the case involving Mr Hennessey.

"At a hearing on 14 January, he pleaded guilty to one count of putting a person in fear of violence by harassment for which he has today received an 18 month community order and a restraining order preventing him from contacting Mr Hennessy."