Arrest warrant issued after Louise Mensch's 'troll' Frank Zimmerman vanishes


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The Independent Online

A warrant has been issued for the arrest of a man who sent a threatening email to the Tory MP Louise Mensch.

Frank Zimmerman, a 60-year-old internet "troll" from Gloucestershire, was due to be sentenced by Cheltenham magistrates yesterday but failed to appear in court.

An earlier hearing was told he targeted the MP for Corby, Northamptonshire, last year, telling her to stop using the social networking site Twitter or face the consequences.

Zimmerman, an agoraphobic who lives in a rundown house in Barnwood, Gloucester, told Mrs Mensch that she faced a "Sophie's Choice" – a reference to a novel in which the heroine has to choose between the life of her son or daughter at a Nazi concentration camp. Zimmerman was charged with sending by public communication an offensive, indecent, obscene, menacing message or matter.

At a hearing at Gloucester magistrates' court in April, he was found guilty in his absence, having failed to attend on that occasion, blaming his agoraphobia and depression.

He attended court last month for sentencing but a district judge adjourned the case so a pre-sentence report could be compiled.

A spokeswoman for Scotland Yard said: "Zimmerman did not appear, and a warrant for failing to surrender to bail was issued by the court for him to be arrested and brought before the court at the earliest opportunity. The court has declined to pass sentence in his absence."