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Man threatened to kill MP's child

A 60-year-old man sent an MP a threatening email telling her she would have to choose which one of her children would die.

The mother of three Louise Mensch, Conservative MP for Corby in Northamptonshire, was told she faced a "Sophie's Choice" – a reference to a novel in which a woman has to choose between the life of her son or daughter at a Nazi concentration camp.

The sinister email was purportedly sent from the online hacking group Anonymous, Gloucester Magistrates' Court heard yesterday. But police later arrested and charged Frank Zimmerman – an agoraphobic living in a run-down house in Gloucester.

Zimmerman, of Barnwood, Gloucester, was convicted yesterday in his absence of sending by public communication network an offensive, indecent, obscene, menacing message or matter. Prosecutor Gaon Hart said the Crown would be applying at the sentencing hearing for a restraining order against Zimmerman, preventing him contacting "other high-profile individuals".

Mrs Mensch said she did not wish to comment until after Zimmerman was sentenced.