Man alleged to have stalked Portsmouth MP appears in court

COURT CASE Les Cummings pictured in 2011
COURT CASE Les Cummings pictured in 2011

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A MAN has appeared in court charged with stalking Portsmouth MP Mike Hancock.

Les Cummings was at Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court and spoke only to confirm his name, age and address.

Portsmouth South MP Mike Hancock

Portsmouth South MP Mike Hancock

The 69-year-old is facing charges of stalking the Portsmouth South MP and Fratton councillor.

Appearing before the chairwoman of the magistrates Rosemary Coxon in black jeans, a blue shirt and jumper and a black coat, Cummings was seated next to his defence lawyer John Oliver’s desk, as his wheelchair wouldn’t allow access into the dock.

Cummings, from Berkshire Close, in Fratton, is accused of stalking Mr Hancock between February 8 and September 13 this year. The alleged offence is prohibited by the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012, Section 4A.

Supporters of Cummings filled the public gallery in the courtroom as the legal advisor outlined the charges.

Cummings is charged with sending a series of offensive emails to Mr Hancock and delivering offensive leaflets to members of the public.

He is also charged with causing Mr Hancock serious alarm and having an adverse effect on his usual day-to-day activities knowing that it would do so and cause him distress.

The court heard that Cummings went to Mr Hancock’s office on July 25, in Albert Road, and accosted him on July 26 outside the Civic Offices, in Guildhall.

Bail agreements were discussed and made between Mr Oliver and prosecutor Richard Withey.

Three terms we agreed for Cummings’ unconditional bail. These include:

· To not contact in any form Mr Hancock, his wife Jacqui Hancock, Mandy George, Michael Andrews or Leslie Stevens.

· To not enter Stafford Road, Hereford Road and Cavendish Road, in Southsea.

· To not enter Victoria Road South between Merton Road and Outram Road or the section of Albert Road that lies west of Albert Grove.

Cummings is also not allowed to enter Rockingham Way, in Portchester, as the third condition of his bail.

He was handed a map of the areas he is not allowed to enter as was the chairwoman of the bench, the prosecution lawyer and the defence lawyer.

The case was adjourned and Cummings will appear at Portsmouth Crown Court on January 13.

In magistrates’ court, stalking can receive a maximum of six months in jail but in the crown court the sentence can be up to five years.

An indication of a plea was not given.