A MAN has denied sending a poison pen letter putting a price on the heads of Durham county councillors.

David Lindsay, who stood unsuccessfully as an Independent candidate for the Lanchester ward in the recent council elections, appeared at Durham Crown Court charged under the Malicious Communications Act.

The 39-year-old, dressed in a beige linen suit, pleaded not guilty to a sending a letter with the intent to cause anxiety or distress.

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The court was told the letter had been sent to Durham Police Chief Constable Michael Barton before February 27.

It contained a threat to 57 members of Durham County Council, namely that a price had been put on their heads if they sought to stand in the Durham County Council elections on May 4.

Louise Harrison, prosecuting, said: “A letter was received by Durham Constabulary.

“That letter was in relation to 57 members of Durham County Council, in particular the Labour councillors. It made a threats towards those people. It was a typed unsigned letter.

“The letter opened by Durham Constabulary listed those 57 councillors, listing them and effectively putting a price on their heads.”

She added: “The note said that a contract of £20,000 a head became operative on the closing date of nominations on all Labour candidates for Durham County Council.

“It lists the names of all the candidates of varying amounts of money in relation to the contracts, rising to a £50,000 on Cllr Simon Henig.”

The note, which ended with the words “Blood will have blood” included references to Palestine and Rojava, Donetsk and Luhansk, the Cuban Revolution and the Boliverian Revolution, Kashmir, the Rohingya, Rousseff and Duterte, the court heard.

Chris Morrison, defending, said Mr Lindsay denied authorship of the letter in question, or sending it.

As a result of the letter which arrived at police headquarters on February 28, the council’s chief executive wrote to all members to reassure them that there was no intelligence to corroborate the threat.

Mr Lindsay, of Foxhills Crescent, Lanchester, was arrested three weeks before the May 4 elections and charged. which he polled 203 votes.

A trial date has been set for December 6.