Restraining order for man who harassed Portsmouth South MP Mike Hancock

Assistant Chief Constable Scott Chilton and District Commander Superintendent Maggie Blyth. Picture: Malcolm Wells

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A CAMPAIGNER who accused Portsmouth South MP Mike Hancock of being a pervert was today barred from contacting him again.

Salisbury Crown Court was told today that Les Cummings, 70, confronted the MP on the steps of the city’s Guildhall and shouted at him he was a ‘pervert, cheat and a liar.’

Les Cummings pictured after the court case today

Les Cummings pictured after the court case today

Cummings also sent six abusive emails to associates of Mr Hancock, one of which said; ‘He is still here like a cancer growth that won’t go away.’

Statements read out by Mr Hancock, his wife Jacqui and parliamentary secretary Mandy George said the incidents, between February and September last year, had caused significant upset and had a huge impact on their lives.

Cummings, of Fratton, had denied stalking Mr Hancock and producing and distributing offensive leaflets.

Today those charges were dropped after Cummings pleaded guilty under Section 2 of the Protection from Harassment Act.

Judge Keith Cutler imposed a restraining order and a two-month suspended prison sentence, to be activated if he is brought back to court for similar behaviour within the next 12 months.

Under the restraining order, which lasts for five years, Cummings must not contact Mr Hancock, his wife, secretary and any other employees.

He is also banned from the civic offices and Mr Hancock’s home in Portchester and must not distribute or produce leaflets about those mentioned.

The judge said: ‘Politicians deserve and will get the protection of the courts from criminal acts.

‘It’s not a question of someone in the position of MP or councillor deliberately throws themselves open to a form of abuse from the public.’

Cummings confronted Mr Hancock as part of a campaign to get an apology from Portsmouth City Council abuse he suffered in a council-run care home in the 1950s.

John Oliver, representing Cummings, said: ‘The reason for the contact which forms part of the charge is because Mr Cummings believed Mr Hancock had single handedly blocked any apology by the local authority.’

Cummings received his apology when the new Tory administration came into power in June this year.