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19 August 2016, 11:21
The Crown Prosecution Service has dropped its case against a man charged with posting an allegedly threatening message on the Facebook page of a Kent MP after the killing of Labour's Jo Cox.
Gun and knife emojis were posted on South Thanet MP Craig Mackinlay's Facebook page after the words: "Another MP that needs...''
Mr Mackinlay called in Kent Police to investigate, and described the post as being made in "appalling taste'' following the death of MP Mrs Cox, who was shot and stabbed in Birstall, West Yorkshire.
Twenty-eight year old Mark Verier from High Street, Ramsgate, was charged with sending offensive, indecent, obscene or menacing communications, and was bailed to appear at Margate Magistrates' Court on Wednesday.
But it has emerged that the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has now dropped the case against him.
A Kent Police spokesman said: "Kent Police investigated a report of offensive or threatening comments being made on a social media post.
"Having investigated the case the evidence was presented to the Crown Prosecution Service, who authorised a charge of malicious communications against the suspect.
"However, the CPS has since taken the decision to not continue with court proceedings.''
A CPS statement said: "The CPS received a file of evidence from Kent Police regarding an allegation of malicious communication and, based on this, a decision was made to charge Mr Verier.
"As with all cases, it was subject to further review and the decision was taken that it did not meet the high threshold for prosecuting such offences. Therefore, the case was discontinued.''
Mr Mackinlay has thanked police for handling the matter with "the seriousness and professionalism it warranted." The MP says he is continuing to upgrade security for his staff and family who he says "face the brunt of attacks from so-called 'cyber-thugs'.''