Sunderland man Len Lowther to stand trial in New Year over allegation he harassed city MP Julie Eliiott via social media
The trial of a Sunderland man over an allegation he harassed city MP Julie Elliott through social media will now be held in the New Year.
Leonard Lowther, of Marine Walk, Roker, had been due to stand trial on Thursday, October 3 at Leeds Magistrates’ Court, but it was changed to a case management hearing to consider legal discussions.
The 64-year-old faces an allegation that between February 5 and October 3, 2018, in Sunderland he harassed Ms Eilliott via social media.
Lowther has denied the charge at a previous hearing.
District Judge David Kitson scheduled a further hearing for Tuesday, December 17, with a two-day trial set from Tuesday, February 11.
The defendant was given unconditional bail until his trial and told he did not have to attend the December date.
The court also heard discussions about whether the case could be heard in the North East.
Nick Lane, representing Lowther, requested it remain at the West Yorkshire court.
He added there was “no huge objection” to being transferred to the North East, such as Teesside.
The district judge said that while there would be some inconvenience for those travelling from the North East for the case, he saw the benefit of “some judicial continuity” over the hearing.
Ms Elliott has been the Labour MP for Sunderland Central since being elected in 2010.
At the last general election, Ms Elliott was again returned to Parliament with a majority of 9,997.