A woman has been charged with trolling after police arrested her for malicious communications on social media.
Kate Scottow, 38, was arrested in December last year, after she was found to be making hateful comments online directed towards trans campaigner Stephanie Hayden.
According to the Crown Prosecution Service, Scottow was charged over ‘persistent’ messages which were intended to cause ‘annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety’ to another person over a number of months.
When Scottow was arrested in December, three officers took her from her home in Hertfordshire. She was reportedly held in a cell for seven hours before being questioned by police.
At the time, Boris Johnson criticised the arrest, calling it an ‘abuse of manpower and police facilities’ at a time when violent crime is on the rise, MailOnline reports.
However, what Johnson seemingly failed to understand is violent crimes, as well as online abuse and hate crimes towards trans people are rising too. In fact, hate crimes towards transgender people have risen by 81 percent in the last two years, so it shouldn’t really be a surprise police are having to deal with it. Yes, in an ideal world police wouldn’t have to deal with it because it shouldn’t exist, but unfortunately here we are.
A spokesperson for the Crown Prosecution Service said the charges against Scottow were authorised last month ‘after reviewing a file of evidence from Hertfordshire Police relating to social media posts’.
Writing on Mumsnet at the time of her arrest, as per The Sun, Scottow said:
I was arrested for harassment and malicious communications because I called someone out and misgendered them on Twitter.
Scottow is due to appear at Stevenage Magistrates’ Court on September 18.
The case between Scottow and Stephanie Hayden comes just six months after Britain’s first transgender hate crime prosecution was halted by a judge, who said: ‘There is no case and never was a case.’
51-year-old Miranda Yardley was accused of harassing a transgender activist on social media. However, District Judge John Woollard reportedly dismissed the case after one day, as he said there was no evidence of a crime.
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.