Man cleared of assaulting Hartlepool MP and making anti-semitic remarks about ex-Labour leader Ed Miliband

Anthony Rowbotham.
Anthony Rowbotham.

A constituent has been cleared of assault and making anti-semitic remarks about former Labour leader Ed Miliband to Hartlepool MP Iain Wright

Anthony Rowbotham was alleged to have made the religiously offensive remarks to Mr Wright while Mr Wright was delivering election leaflets in his constituency in March, last year.

Hartlepool MP Iain Wright.

Hartlepool MP Iain Wright.

A trial lasting three days at Teesside Crown Court heard Rowbotham approached Mr Wright after a chance meeting in Milbank Road in Hartlepool.

Mr Wright told the jury Rowbotham was abusive and said he didn’t want ‘the Jew Miliband’ as Prime Minister, and made another remark about ‘Jews controlling all the money’.

Rowbotham told the jury he did swear at Mr wright, but did not say anything about Jews.

“I did tell him he was a bankers’ servant,” said Rowbotham.

“I did use the f-word to Mr Wright, which was inappropriate and something I shouldn’t have done.

“But none of my other language was inappropriate.”

The jury found Rowbotham not guilty of religiously aggravated harassment.

He was also found not guilty of common assault when he was alleged to have tried to trip Mr Wright as he walked on a grass verge.

The jury was unable to reach a verdict on a charge of simple harassment.

It is alleged Rowbotham’s general conduct caused Mr Wright alarm and distress.

Ian Mularkey, prosecuting, asked for time to consider if the CPS will seek a retrial on the harassment charge.

The Recorder, Mr Nicholas Lumley QC, adjourned the case until February 1.

Rowbotham, 43, of Oakley Gardens, Hartlepool, was bailed on condition he does not contact Mr Wright or his family.