A CONSTITUENT who developed a hatred for Basingstoke's MP and branded her a 'Nazi pervert' as part of an alleged vendetta against her has been cleared of breaching a restraining order.

Michael Bedford, of Hillary Road, in Oakridge, Basingstoke, sent the message as part of a campaign of harassment against former Cabinet minister Maria Miller.

The 59-year-old had been given the restraining order and banned by a court from contacting the MP on matters outside of constituency business.

He was accused of ignoring the ban by sending the politician a 'sinister' email accusing her of lying in the case against him. However, a jury has cleared Bedford of breaching the order.

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Basingstoke Gazette: Michael BedfordHe had originally been handed the ban by Westminster Magistrates' Court, London, on September 20 last year after he was found guilty of harassing Dame Maria.

During the four-day trial, jurors at Salisbury Crown Court were told that in April he sent the MP an 'intimidating' email which criticised her evidence in the previous court case.

In the message, Bedford accused Dame Maria - who served as Culture Secretary under Prime Minister David Cameron - of lying in her victim impact statement.

"Did you genuinely think that you couldn't be home alone in case I attacked or murdered you?" he asked, referencing murdered MPs Jo Cox and David Amess.

"I have friends and relatives who would be horrified if an ogre like me could be allowed to terrify them in the way I did to you.

"You must be livid with the police for taking no action after they arrested me three times for calling you a 'pervert with Nazi attitudes'."

The court heard Bedford said if local police wouldn't protect 'Dame Maria Miller', they certainly wouldn't protect other women in the constituency.

Prosecuting, Julian Winship told the court: "[Bedford] was motivated by a personal animosity for Mrs Miller. The email that he sent was not constituency business as properly and fairly defined.

"It was in truth motivated by his hatred of Mrs Miller and its tone was sinister, intimidating and sarcastic."

Mr Winship said Bedford was not allowed to contact Dame Maria or her husband, Iain Miller, on matters outside of constituency business and said the email was 'dressed in general terms to mask the true purpose of it'.

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Basingstoke Gazette: He added: "The email was designed to cause Mrs Miller fear and distress. The defendant had no real concern for his fellow constituents - he was concerned with pursuing his vendetta to his local MP."

The court heard Bedford sent the email in the early hours of April 11 this year and was arrested later that evening.

During his police interview, he described the harassment court case as 'farcical' and said his hatred for Dame Maria started when he complained about a particular incident and she 'just dug in her heels and maintained it had nothing to do with her'.

He insisted he did not think his 'behaviour was at all threatening'.

"Maria Miller is a politician who can twist things - she's pretty thick-skinned," he told police.

He added that he referred to the MP as just 'Miller' because he 'hates the woman' and has 'no respect for her at all'.

He denied acting in breach of the restraining order and has now been acquitted of the charge after arguing the email counted as constituency business.