Court strikes down limits on filming of police in Arizona

Former Education Secretary Sir has told a court he felt “incredibly threatened” by a man accused of stalking him.

Simon Parry, 45, of no fixed abode, was alleged to have “persistently followed” the South Staffordshire MP on two occasions earlier this year.

A trial at City of London Magistrates’ Court heard the defendant spoke about arresting Sir Gavin and flashed what appeared to be a police warrant card.

Mr Parry denied one count of stalking while a charge he faced and also denied of impersonating a police officer has been dropped

The incidents took place on 24 May and 14 June, the court heard.

Giving evidence, Sir Gavin said the accused followed him along streets in Whitehall on two occasions after he passed a protest area opposite Downing Street.

Of the May incident, the MP said he heard Mr Parry making comments about vaccinations while walking in “close proximity”.

Sir Gavin told the court he perceived the defendant to be “aggressive” and the incident “felt very unpleasant”.

He added: “You felt as if this was part of intimidation or sort of trying to make a publicity work or something along those lines.”

During the June incident, Sir Gavin said Mr Parry directed further comments at him about vaccinations and mentioned genocide.

The politician carried on walking while speaking to a constituent on his phone, magistrates heard.

Sir Gavin said Mr Parry’s “persistence” in following him towards Euston was “quite disturbing”.

“It was quite evident that this individual was hostile to myself,” Sir Gavin said.

He continued: “Why should I, you know, not do what I thought was my job because this very aggressive person was harassing me and pursuing me?”

The MP explained he believed Mr Parry then flashed a warrant card and spoke about arresting him.

Sir Gavin said he asked the constituent he was speaking to stay on the line as a “comfort” until Mr Parry stopped following him.

The court heard the incidents left him “fretful” and “fearful” about his safety.

“When someone is acting in such an extreme way… you don’t really know what they’re capable of doing,” he said.

District judge Tan Ikram said there was no case to answer for the charge of impersonating a police officer.

Olivia Beach, defending, argued the evidence was “so poor or weak” that it would be unsafe to convict Parry on the charge.

The judge upheld her submission.

The defendant appeared at court with Piers Corbyn, brother to former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Sir Gavin served as defence secretary before becoming education secretary under the then-PM Boris Johnson in 2019.

The trial continues.

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