A POLITICAL blogger who failed to heed a judge’s warning over his online activities is starting a 12-month prison sentence.

David Lindsay was given a 16-month sentence, suspended for two years, at Durham Crown Court in June last year after being found guilty at trial of malicious communication and perverting the course of justice.

Those convictions related to poison pen letters he denied sending, “putting a price on the heads” of 57 named Labour councillors in County Durham, and his subsequent ruse to try to deflect responsibility.

Describing the defendant as, “an eccentric loner”, Judge James Adkin expressly warned him, “to be careful” over his future online activities.

But Lindsay, 43, of Foxhills Crescent, Lanchester, was back before the court after admitting three counts of harassment on the day of a scheduled trial before magistrates.

They related to emails and references on his blog to a safeguarding officer from the Roman Catholic diocese of Hexham and Newcastle and a former Labour Party official in the North.

The court heard one of the offences was committed after he was found guilty, but prior to sentence, and the third was after he was sentenced, in June.

Peter Sabiston, prosecuting, said Lindsay accused the safeguarding officer, a former police officer, of “demonic and bullying” behaviour, claiming she should be exorcised, publishing her work address on his blog, and telling her he was her, “worst enemy” and to: “Watch your back”.

He was also behind an anonymous allegation that she abused a child and falsely claimed she was under investigation.

Mr Sabiston said he repeatedly harassed the former Labour official, referring to him as a “racist”, mocking him and his “vulnerable” step-son, on his blog, including their photographs.

Chris Morrison, mitigating, said Lindsay was unhappy at being barred from his local church, which he felt denied him from practising his Catholic faith.

But no-one suffered any physical harm and, since his final arrest in September, “no further similar conduct has arisen.”

But Judge Adkin said: “The problem he has is that he was given a clear warning not to engage in this type of conduct.”

Jailing him, the judge told Lindsay he was, “warned in the clearest of terms”, against intimidating, “those you perceive to be your enemies.”

Restraining orders were put in place forbidding Lindsay contacting by any means those he harassed, for ten years.