AN internet blogger has appeared in court charged with harassing the mother and sister of murdered soldier Lee Rigby.

Chris Spivey, 51, of RochfordGardens, Rochford, denied two counts of harassment and two of malicious communication for allegedly posting offensive conspiracy theories about Mr Rigby’s death on Facebook and on his website.

Fusilier Rigby, who came from Middleton, Greater Manchester, was killed on May 22, 2013 by Islamist extremists Michael Adebowale and Michael Adebolajo 200 yards from the Royal Artillery Barracks, in Woolwich, London.

Tattoo artist Spivey allegedly caused harassment by saying Mr Rigby’s family were involved in a conspiracy with MI5 to incite hatred against Muslims.

Essex Police arrested Spivey on July 30 last year after a referral from Greater Manchester Police.

In the short hearing at Southend Magistrates’ Court on Friday, Spivey, wore a mustard and navy jumper, black bomber jacket, jeans and Timberland boots.

The court heard Lee Rigby’s mother, Lyn Rigby, was targeted between May 23, 2013 and November 11, 2014, and his sister, Sara McClure, between June 20 and November 11 2014.

The points which allegedly amounted to harassment include claiming images of Lee Rigby in Mrs Rigby’s home were Photoshopped, posting the address of Mrs Rigby and Ms McClure, posting photographs of members of Lee Rigby’s family by a Christmas tree in their home and posting images and the names of Ms McClure’s children.

Spivey claims his website has attracted nine million views in the three years it has been running, with 10,000 to 20,000 people visiting it every day.

The case was adjourned and Spivey will reappear at the court at a later date.