An alleged troll who bombarded prominent Remain MPs with abusive telephone voice messages is to face trial in the summer.
Robert Vidler, 63, is alleged to have targetted shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer, Shadow international trade secretary Barry Gardiner, and Tory MP for Grantham and Stamford Nick Boles.
During a 13 day spree he is accused five counts of harassment and three of sending grossly offensive or menacing public communication this January.
Unshaven Vidler appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court wearing a dark green beanie hat, jacket with a Marie Stokes daffodil pinned to it, chequered shirt, dark jeans and white and red shoes.
He spoke only to confirm his name, date of birth and address before District Judge Richard Blake during the 24 minute hearing.
Prosecutor Sarah Jennings said: “These are all telephone calls or voicemails left on either parliamentary or constituency office numbers for several different, various Members of Parliament.”
Malik Aldeiri, defending, said his client denied making the calls and the case was adjourned for a one day trial at City of London Magistrates’ in July and
Releasing Vidler of Harrow in north west London on conditional bail DJ Blake warned: “You are to have no contact of any MP or any assistants of an MP.”
The conditions included living and sleeping at his home address; not to contact any MP, any MP’s assistant or the constituency office.
Replying to the conditions Vidler told the court: “I have no reason to” know who his MP was.”
Vidler allegedly left “threatening, abusive or menacing” voicemail messages to Jane Gordon-Cumming, a member of staff for Mr Boles on his Parliamentary phone on January 8 and 13.
He was also charged with doing the same to Yasmeen Sebbana, who works for Sir Kier on January 13 and 16 and Miles Geilinger, a staff member for Mr Gardiner on January 16 and 17.
He was also accused of leaving similar voicemails to Matthew Lucas on January 9 and 13 and Conservative party agent for more than 41 years Philip Dumville on January 12, 13 and 16.
He was charged with sending “grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character” public communications twice on January 16 and once on January 21.
By Ben Gelblum and Berny Torre