Despite Ms. Merritt’s friend Gill Smith confronting her and telling her to stop calling, the court heard that the harassment “increased in shape” from that point on.
On Mother’s Day, March 31, 2019, the defendant spoke with Ms. Merritt during the phone call she made and identified herself as Claudia.
Webbe asked why Ms. Merritt was in contact with her boyfriend and that he was reportedly in “such a state” that he went on to call Ms. Merritt a “scum” and said it should “be acidic.”
The prosecutor said Ms. Merritt “caused him great distress by this call” and was “alarmed and concerned for her safety.”
Merritt reported the incident to police and an officer told Webbe in April 2019 that he should have no further contact with her.
But despite being warned by officers to stop calling, Webbe allegedly made a total of 16 more calls to the plaintiff, including one on April 25 of last year, which Ms. Merritt recorded.
The deputy agreed to phone Ms Merritt in a prepared statement she provided to police on July 30, 2020.
The court heard that Webbe told police that he did not appreciate that his phone calls were unwanted or causing Ms. Merritt distress.
Webbe also denied threatening Merritt on Mother’s Day 2019.
However, in the recorded phone call, the MP had made similar threats to reveal nude photos to Ms Merritt’s family and then accepted that it was her on the recording.
Webbe, from Islington, north London, stood on the pier in a black suit to confirm his name, date of birth and address, before sitting down with his lawyer when the case against him was opened. She denies a single charge of harassment.
Webbe entered the Commons in December 2019, winning the seat previously held by Keith Vaz, the Labor veteran who retired from Parliament in the wake of a scandal.
He was a councilor in Islington from 2010 to 2018 and was a member of the Labor Party’s ruling National Executive Committee. Early in her career, she was a political advisor to then-London Mayor Ken Livingstone.
The trial, which is to last one day before Chief Justice Paul Goldspring, continues.