Man harassed Wellingborough MP’s wife with series of menacing text messages

Peter Bone, MP for Wellingborough
Peter Bone, MP for Wellingborough

A man sent a series of menacing text messages to the wife of Wellingborough’s MP while accusing him of stealing £100,000.

Edward White, 59, of Hatfield Close, Wellingborough, was found guilty of harassment at Wellingborough Magistrates’ Court after a series of incidents last year.

The court heard how White went into MP Peter Bone’s High Street office in July to seek help on claiming an inheritance.

Mr Bone’s wife Jeanette, who works as his secretary, told White that the issue did not fall under Mr Bone’s remit but forwarded his query and documents to the attorney general.

When there was a delay in the documents being returned, White returned to Mr Bone’s office and became aggressive.

In November Mrs Bone, who is also a councillor on Wellingborough Council, called White to try to arrange the return of the papers but again he became aggressive.

White then sent her a number of short text messages, prosecutor Jerena Tomaszewska told the court.

She said: “The texts said ‘Corrupt. I’m coming. Big time. I’m going to jail’.

“Jeanette Bone said she was going to alert the authorities.

“He replied ‘No threat. Promise’.”

He later sent a series of 16 more messages, leaving Mrs Bone having a ‘restless night’, Mrs Tomaszewska added.

Days later White returned to Mr Bone’s office and tried to force open the door.

He then started accusing the Bones of stealing £100,000 and gave out leaflets to people in the street calling the MP ‘corrupt’.

In a victim impact statement read out in court, Mrs Bone said: “Since the incident I have felt very nervous.

“I feel nervous about being in the office on my own.

“I have had to change my mobile number and have had it removed from the Wellingborough Council website.

“I feel I have had to do that for my own safety.

“I have found this incident to be extremely distressing.”

When asked by magistrates if he had anything to say White, who chose to represent himself, said: “As far as I’m concerned it’s a load of lies.

“I was very naive.”

Chairman of the bench Mrs Denham gave White a six-month community order with 15 days of rehabilitation requirements, of which 10 must be focused on anger management.

He was also given a five-year restraining order against Mr and Mrs Bone and made to pay £650 in costs and a victim surcharge of £85.

Speaking after the sentencing, Mr Bone said: “I am pleased that a court found Mr White guilty.

“The harassment was unacceptable.

“I do not think prison would have been the right route and I am pleased that there is a restraining order.

“People are allowed to disagree with us but the vile abuse we get on social media is extraordinary.”