Case against arsonist accused of menacing MP dropped

Posted On 05 Dec 2022 at 11:13 am

Lloyd Russell-Moyle

The case against a convicted arsonist charged with leaving a menacing message on a Brighton MP’s answerphone has been dropped.

Don Fisher, 57, of Findon Road, Brighton was charged with leaving a voicemail “that was grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character” on the Labour MP’s voicemail.

The voicemail was left on November 24 last year.

At a preliminary hearing at Brighton Magistrates Court in June, Fisher pleaded not guilty.

He was released on bail, with the condition he not contact directly or indirectly Lloyd Russell-Moyle, Simon Burgess or any Labour staff member , not to enter any building known to be occupied by any Labour staff member and not to go within 100 meters of Lloyd Russell-Moyle or any of his members of staff.

On 10 November, the case was again heard at Brighton Magistrates Court, where court records show it was discontinued after the prosecution offered no evidence.

The court ordered that Fisher’s costs of £5.71 should be reimbursed to him.

A bad character application which was due to have been heard by the court was also withdrawn.

This would allowed the court to have introduced into evidence his previous convictions.

THese include a charge of arson which he was jailed for 18 months for in 2017, after he torched the St John the Baptist Church in Bristol Road, Brighton, causing £100,000 of damage.

Earlier that year, he was convicted of harassing his then-neighbours in Southampton. A judge issued five restraining orders preventing him from contacting his neighbours, and ordered him to pay more than £3,000 in compensation to them.

The Daily Echo reported he had described himself as a “neighbourhood guardian angel”.

Mr Russell-Moyle declined to comment.

  1. BAHTAG Reply

    It seems sort-of understandable, humane even, that Mr Russell-Moyle MP does not wish to comment on the pathetic, but still criminal, actions of a deranged person apparently in clear need of mental health care and therapy?

    However other questions arise, which a diligent MP certainly does need to address, surely?

    Such as what went wrong with Sussex Police and/or the CPS that they seemingly couldn’t find the original evidence they used to support their initial decision to prosecute – it having become apparent that both public bodies are so under-resourced that they now go to great lengths to minimise the number of prosecutions being taken to court?

    And an even larger local question which all three local MPs, plus our local House of Lords nominees, need to address several thousand times over is:
    How can someone living elsewhere, and convicted of crimes elsewhere, be allocated what looks to be a Council or Housing Association flat here (in 2017 possibly on the Bristol Estate, and currently in Whitehawk, Findon Way) when our City has some 30,000 honest residents in DIRE NEED of the long-term security and affordability of a social-rented home?

    Or does our Council perhaps operate a secret policy to ‘exchange’ troublesome tenants with other local authorities?

    A helpful step towards monitoring a better operation of council house management could be for Councillors, of all Parties and none, to volunteer to become a designated ‘Contact Person’ for a proportionate amount of the social-rented homes in our City, so that each dwelling is allocated such a Contact Cllr ?

    Not only would such a designated Cllr hopefully give existing tenants a sympathetic listening ear and a champion to challenge whatever issues the paid staff are not handling well – and ideally all proposed new tenancy allocations would first be offered to the Contact Councillor for that propsal to be reviewed, and even to be vetoed where there’s a good reason to block a proposed tenant.

    And whilst some Councillors are likely not to volunteer hopefully at least 36 or more would be sufficiently public-spirited to take up such a noble and helpful role?

    Also bearing in mind the prospect that, over time, the more assiduous their interventions the fewer will be the number of problems ultimately needing their attention!

    So, Lords, MPs, and Councillors, can we please hear from you about some tangible low-cost actions to actually improve the Quality-of-Life for our City’s own people – well ahead of the way that indigenous British incomers seem to so easily be helped into scarce accommodation, ahead of those born here, or resident here for decades and now facing housing difficulties?

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